Open Loop Scrubber Ban Effective 1/1/2020
Singapore Announces Ban for Eco-Friendly Practices
Those investing in open-loop scrubbers to reduce engine exhaust on ships have about one year of use left if they anticipate venturing into the Singapore port areas. According to news from Reuters, Singapore’s Maritime Port Authority will implement the ban as of January 1, 2020 along with efforts to reduce sulpher content in shipping fuels to below 0 .5% – significantly lower than the current 3.5% regulation.
“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,” Chief Executive Officer of the MPA Andrew Tan said. “Ships fitted with hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of operation.”
Singapore is currently the largest hub for for bunkering with plans to supply facilities designated specifically for the residue output from the open-loop scrubbers. Some wonder how this will impact business operations, traffic and trade, as well as global compliance efforts.
“Singapore’s bunker market could lose out to competitive bunkering locations emerging in surrounding locations … provided they allow open-loop scrubbers to operate,” managing director of BRS Baxi Ashok Sharma comments.
With the recent spike in demand for scrubbers in an effort to boost business operations and meet compliance regulations, there’s no question that manufacturers will consider utilizing the announcement as an opportunity to boost operations and increase sales. Depending on what type of scrubbers have been fitted, recent investments might be revisited to ensure total compliance.
“Prudent tanker owners will have likely factored in the possibility of limits on the use of open-loop scrubbers,” Asia-Pacific manager for Intertanko Tim Wilkins said.
As the new year approaches, maritime industry players would be wise in considering Eco-friendly options moving forward in an effort to stay one-step ahead of the consistently changing regulations, saving time, money and resources without losing opportunities to engage with restrictive global ports.
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