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EGCSA urges authorities not to make hasty decisions banning open-loop scrubbers

The Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) has urged ports and authorities not to make hasty decisions in banning open-loop scrubbers.

The statement by EGCSA followed Fujairah announcing it would ban washwater from open-loop scrubbers from port waters and that ships would need to use compliant 0.5% low sulphur fuels to meet the demands of the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap.

“We are disappointed to learn of the ban by the Port of Fujairah on open-loop scrubber wash water discharge. This is unfortunate at a time when the shipping industry is working hard to reduce sulphur emissions and may well lead to a setback in the progress already made in reducing emissions,” said Don Gregory, director of EGCSA.

Fujairah’s ban follows similar moves in recent months by China for some ports and inland waterways, which is expected to extend to the entire coastal Emission Control Area (ECA) in due course, the world’s largest bunkering port Singapore, and seven other countries or ports within those countries. P&I Club Gard said recently it was likely more ports and countries would also ban open-loop scrubbers.

Read more: More coastal states and ports likely to ban open-loop scrubbers: Gard

Gregory noted the IMO had carefully researched exhaust gas cleanings systems before sanctioning their use to meet the sulphur cap. “We urge other ports and other authorities to research the matter in depth before making hasty decisions inspired by exaggerated claims that may have a very significant, negative impact on the shipping industry,” he said.

Gregory’s statements about the negative impact seemed somewhat at odds with Scorpio Bulkers, which is equipping its entire fleet with scrubbers, and said on Monday said that port and coastal bans would not have material impact on scrubber economics.

Read more: Scorpio Bulkers assuming $250 per tonne fuel spread for scrubbers

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