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Singapore joins list of ports banning open loop scrubbers

The Port of Singapore has joined a growing list of ports that are taking a cautionary approach to open loop exhaust gas scrubbers.

In a wide ranging speech, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore chief executive Andrew Tan said that the MPA was working to ensure the waters around Singapore remain  clean.

“To protect the marine environment and ensure that the port waters are clean, the discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in Singapore port waters will be prohibited. Ships fitted with open-loop scrubbers calling at Singapore will be required to use compliant fuel”, he said, adding that ships fitted with hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of operation.

He also added that Singapore, as a party to MARPOL Annex VI, will be providing reception facilities for the collection of residues generated from the operation of scrubbers.

Scrubbers are being seen by some owners as  way of meeting the 2020 sulphur in fuel regulation that would see vessels requiring more expensive low sulphur fuel blends,  with a 0.5% content, than the current residual fuels that can have up to 3.5%.

One of the concerns of scrubber technology has been the sulphur oxides and particulate matter that is removed from a ships’ exhaust eventually end up being washed into the sea. Scrubber manufacturers have been aware of this, hence the development of closed-loop systems and hybrid systems that switch between the two and allowing for residues to be collected and sent ashore as waste.

Read Tan’s full speech here on the Maritime and Port Authority of SIngapore Website

Other countries and ports are taking  poor view of open loop scrubbers. Various ports in Europe, including Hamburg and Dublin are believed to have open loop scrubber bans, while Norway s pushing regulation to ban the use of scrubbers in the UNESCO heritage fjords in the west of the country. China has also been widely reported to be considering a ban of open loop scrubbers

ENDS

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