In the following article, Capt. Siddharth Mahajan, Loss Prevention Executive Asia, Singapore, at the Gard P&I Club, discusses challenges associated with the use of scrubbers as one of the two most popular options for compliance with IMO 2020 and shares preventive recommendations for scrubber-related breakdowns.
According to IMO, exhaust gas scrubbers are a compliant method to reduce vessels’ sulphur emissions and ensuring compliance with MARPOL Annex VI. Yet, some coastal states and ports have implemented local regulations with stricter measures that either restrict or prohibit the discharge of washwater from open loop scrubbers or prohibit the use of scrubbers, according to Gard.
While scrubbers are an attractive means of compliance with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap, equivalent to low-sulphur fuels, a recent surge in bans of open loop scrubbers in major ports worldwide seems to open new discussions, creating misconceptions surrounding the true environmental impact of these systems.
As of 1 October 2018, ships operating in China’s Yangtze River Delta domestic ECA can no longer use fuel with a sulphur content exceeding 0.5%, unless a scrubber is installed, Gard Club said citing information by Chinese regional authorities of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces.
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