China ‘could soon’ impose full ban on open-loop scrubbers: Bimco

China has enforced a ban on the use of open-loop scrubbers in the country’s inland Emissions Control Areas (ECAs), port waters under coastal domestic ECA and the Bohai waters, though a countrywide ban could be implemented in future, according to Bimco.

Bimco analyst Wei Zhuang noted that Chinese regulators have not yet placed a full ban on open-loop scrubbers as reported widely, rather it is an update on the domestic ECA regulations with effect from 1 January 2019.

He cited sources familiar with the matter saying that a full ban on open-loop scrubbers “could however be adopted soon”, but no specific timeline was floated.

“In recent days, there has been reports that the Ministry of Transport in Beijing has now banned open-loop scrubbers from the country’s ECAs, which now cover most of China’s territorial waters,” the analyst said.

Read more: China bans open-loop scrubbers

“In November, regulators said ships equipped with scrubbers were permitted to carry and use high sulphur fuel oil, subject to emissions monitoring, and that scrubber waste and water must be disposed according to relevant regulation. This remains the case,” he said.

“In October, there was speculation that China was planning a ban on open loop scrubbers. Chinese officials confirmed to BIMCO at the time that there were no immediate plans to impose a ban on the technology, as long as they were in compliance with prevailing regulation,” he added.

Posted 09 January 2019

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Lee Hong Liang

Asia Correspondent

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