Scrubbers are an accepted equivalent measure from compliance with thee IMO 2020 sulphur cap. Scrubbers have divided the shipping industry, while ports around are analyzing their impact in their waters.
In the latest development, MPA Singapore will ban the discharge of wash water from open-loop scrubbers, as from January 1, 2020. The ban is part of the MPA’s attempt to prepare the port ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap.
In order to facilitate the implementation of the ban, Singapore will provide facilities to collect the residue generated from the operation of scrubbers.
As of now, several ports and regions have stated that they will not allow the discharge of washwater from scrubbers.
According to the North Club, the following ports have or will prohibit the use of scrubbers, or have placed conditions on their use:
- Belgium: Belgium states that discharge is only allowed in coastal and open seawaters when at least 3nm off coast. Discharges must not violate EU Water Framework Directive objective, while Flemish regional law also confirms that discharge is not allowed in ports or inland waters.
- Germany: EGCS discharge is not allowed in inland waterways, canals and ports within inland waterways.
- Ireland: EGCS discharge is not allowed in Dublin.
- Latvia: Here the information are not clear. According to the European Commission Report in 2016, EGCS discharge is allowed. But national authorities are of the position that open-loop scrubber discharge should be prohibited in territorial waters and ports. What is more, an ABS report from 2018 says that the discharge is prohibited in port waters. Nevertheless, Pandi Balt Ltd advised in 2018 that discharges are currently allowed under regulations but they could be prohibited in future.
- Lithuania: The situation here resembles Latvia’s. Lithuanian authorities are examining whether scrubbers wash water discharges have serious impacts on the marine environment or not. When results will be clear, conclusions will be provided.
- US: EGCS discharge is not allowed in Californian Ports and waters; and Connecticut Ports and waters. The discharge is allowed under conditions in Hawaii Ports and waters.
- UAE: EGCS discharge is allowed under conditions at Abu Dhabi Ports.
- Singapore: EGCS discharge is not allowed.
- China: International sources report that China is possible to ban open-loop scrubbers along its rivers.
- India: Indicates that scrubber washwater discharges are allowed if the criteria set out in MEPC.259(68) are met. Yet, it is not clear if local restrictions will be imposed in some areas.
- Fujairah: Use of open loop scrubbers banned in port waters.
- Dublin: Discharge of washwater is prohibited in waters under Dublin port jurisdiction. Dublin port jurisdiction includes waters from the Matt Talbot Memorial Bridge eastwards to a line from the Baily Lighthouse through the North and South Burford buoys and through Sorrento Point.
- Waterford: Discharge of scrubber washwater is prohibited in port limits from the start of January 2019.
- Norway: Ban on the use of scrubbers in the country’s heritage fjords, including closed loop and hybrid systems. Norway is also proposing a prohibition of incineration of waste on board vessels in the world heritage fjords. Implementation is expected during first half of 2019.
- Finland: Individual ports have banned or restricted open-loop scrubbers.
- Russia: Individual ports have banned or restricted open-loop scrubbers.