According to sources, the decision to equip the vast majority of the ships with scrubbers was taken nine months ago. Namely, George Economou had stated that the company  took this decision based on the information it had at that particular time.

This move will cost TMS Group $350 million, while Mr. Economou also added that the company will not proceed into new orders, with the exception of the LNG sector.

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Moreover, speaking about the situation that the 2020 sulphur cap is creating, Mr. Economou blaimed the regulators that they have not properly managed the transition to low sulphur fuels. This in turn divided the shipping industry, leading to confusion.

This move comes at at time when Carnival Corporation presented the results of an independent, two-year scientific wash-water study that shows its scrubbers are a safe and effective means for compliance with IMO's 2020 requirements.

The study found that the wash-water samples from scrubbers were below the limits that numerous major national and international water quality and land-based water discharge standards have established.

The two-year study included 281 wash-water samples from 53 Carnival Corporation ships equipped with the systems. The samples were analyzed by independent laboratories accredited by ISO, using standardized EPA methods. After that, DNV GL reviewed the laboratory test data, comparing the results to major point source discharge limits and water quality standards.

The study showed that the quality of the water used in scrubbers was always far below the IMO monitoring limits for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the annual limits for nitrates. Specifically, when measured against IMO standards, the average wash-water test results in this study were more than 90% lower than maximum allowable levels. In many cases, the materials were completely undetectable in the laboratory testing process.