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Singapore= MPA announces ban on open-loop scrubber use

2018/12/07 17:00

The Maritime Port Authority in Singapore (MPA) announced on Nov 30 that it would prohibit the use of open-loop (exhaust gas) scrubbers at Singapore. The type is widely spread as installation and running costs are low comparing to closed-loop scrubbers. However, it was concerned that the open-loop type could impact the marine environment as the type required monitoring of wash water on a vessel and discharge it into the sea. A scrubber is an equipment on board which desulfurizes exhaust gas to adapt recent environmental regulations. There are three types of scrubbers; open-loop scrubbers, closed-loop scrubbers, and hybrid scrubbers. Firstly, the specification of the open-loop scrubber system is that exhaust gas will be cleaned by the seawater that is sprayed directly to the gas. Secondly, the specification of the closed-loop scrubber system is that exhaust gas is washed by fresh water and is neutralized with caustic soda (NaOH) after scrubbing the exhaust gas. Finally, the hybrid type scrubber system has both functions of open-loop scrubbers and closed-loop scrubbers. It is expected that some parts of vessels would use high-sulfur fuel oil with installing scrubbers ahead of the sulfur cap regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which would start from January 2020. However, due to the ban on the use of the open-loop type scrubber, vessels with open-loop scrubbers are forced to use fuel oil that would fulfill with the low sulfur regulations such as LSMGO. 
According to a survey by Rim Intelligence, approximately 70% of the vessels is expected to be equipped with open-loop scrubbers by 2020. Hence, the impact of the ban at Singapore, the world’s largest bunker fuel oil supply port, would be huge even though the purpose of the ban is to protect the marine environment. It is also said that similar regulation is expected to spread around the world. In fact, the use of open-loop scrubbers has already been prohibited at some ports Europe and the US.

Tokyo : Ayana Yamaoka  +81-3-3552-2411
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