• 2018 December 8 13:12

    EGCSA blasts MPA's ban on open-loop scrubbers in Singapore

    The IMO legislated to introduce a 0.5 % sulphur cap for all shipping vessels from 2020 with the aim of protecting human health and the marine environment from noxious sulphur dioxide emissions. The shipping industry is reacting responsibly by fitting vessels with exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), so-called marine scrubbers, or by switching to low sulphur fuel, the EGCS manufacturers association said in its press release.

    The recent announcement by the outgoing CEO of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) banning the discharge of process water from open loop scrubbers for vessels visiting Singapore came without prior notice or discussion with the IMO despite the fact that the Singapore MPA is a signatory to MARPOL Annex VI. The MPA provided neither scientific evidence for its decision nor was the industry invited to consultation. If there had been discussion, the Singapore MPA might have realised the high risks to human health resulting from the high toxicity of low sulphur fuels and more toxic distillates if no exhaust gas cleaning systems are used. The many dumbbell low sulphur fuels (0.50%S fuel oils) are also expected to have less complete combustion as the fuel boiling point distribution and that this will also contribute to higher particulate matter discharge and poorer air quality in Singapore.

    As the pronouncement by the Singapore MPA is likely to have a significant effect on crude carriers operating inert gas plant discharging into Singapore refineries and storage facilities as well as all other vessels visiting Singaporean waters, it is disappointing that the Singapore MPA has been less than open about its plans and has not, as far as we can tell, based its decision on proven scientific findings.

    We would urge the IMO, national governments, port and harbour authorities to base any future decisions relating to the use of marine scrubbers, whether they use open or closed loop systems, on evidence and fact.

    Ships operating an inert gas plant have discharged process water from open loop scrubbers in the port area for over 50 years. No studies have been published that indicate measurable harm to the marine environment. Nor has the operation of open loop scrubbers at numerous facilities on land such as power station shown to be detrimental to waterways or the environment. In fact, Asia has adopted flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) for several power stations. They include Mawan (1.8GW) in Shenzhen, Guandong province, China, Tanjung Bin (2.1GW) in Malaysia, Paiton (1.4GW) in Indonesia, Manjung (2.1GW) in Malaysia. The FGD installation at Mawan has been listed in China’s “Cross Century Green Project Plan” and the “Blue Sky Project” programme by the government of Guangdong Province and is regarded as a model by the Chinese National Environment Protection Bureau for other seawater flue gas desulphurisation (SWFGD) projects. Around the world there are over 50 GW of General Electric (Alstom) installed sea water scrubbing systems for FGD. The General Electric (Alstom) sea water scrubbing process has been recognized and approved by several environmental agencies around the world. In the working draft of the European IPPC Bureau’s Council Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, Alstom’s SWFGD is included as a BAT (Best Available Technique) and described under “3.4.1.2 Seawater Scrubbing”.

    Port authorities should consider that the ban of open loop marine scrubber operations is likely to promote the use of low sulphur fuel oils using 0.10%S distillate which have been shown to have a significantly higher toxic impact than heavy sulphur fuel oils (HSFO) (see “Health Effects of Shipping Emissions by Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Rostock University and Helmholtz Zentrum München study, presented at the Asia Emissions Technology Conference in Singapore in November 2017). There is furthermore evidence from the refining industry and the IMO Secretary General’s Expert Group on sulphur to show that scrubbers emit 3%-5% less CO2 than low sulphur fuels over their lifecycle. A study by the University of Rostock furthermore identifies the exhaust emissions from low sulphur diesel fuels as posing a greater risk to human health than marine exhaust gas scrubbers.

    It is also apparent that in order to address black carbon and other harmful ultrafine particles, the use of exhaust gas after-treatment is going to have to become ubiquitous as long as liquid fossil fuels are the main stay of a ship’s energy. Investing in these technology developments will certainly be hampered by administrations if they act as unreliable stakeholders.

    As the Singapore MPA’s announcement focused on open loop scrubbers, one conclusion that may be drawn is that there is a significant difference between the discharge from an open loop EGCS to the discharge from an EGCS operating in closed loop mode. What is not clear or published by the MPA is their assessment of the differences and consequent measured or predicted environmental impact.

    The EGCSA welcomes dialogue and evaluation based on science and evidence. We encourage all ports to avoid the quick headline which is politically motivated and provides no measurable society benefit and instead to seek dialogue with the industry, conduct thorough investigations into all the available options for meeting the 2020 sulphur cap and to focus on sustainable solutions that will stand the test of time.

    About the EGCSA
    The Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) was established in 2008 to help create a sustainable operating environment within the marine and energy industry sectors for exhaust gas cleaning system technologies, providing clarity and a rational voice for those companies interested in reducing marine exhaust gas emissions. A key objective for EGCSA is to develop and promote a high level of integrity and standards in exhaust gas cleaning, through knowledge transfer and interaction with regulators and other organisations. EGCSA offers impartial technical information, advice and opinion on the many current and future issues and challenges related to emissions reduction and marine exhaust gas cleaning systems. Member companies of the EGCSA are involved in the development, design and final installed configuration and design approval and acceptance of turnkey exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet the current and future emissions regulations of IMO and, where applicable, additional regulations introduced by regional and national authorities.




2019 January 24

10:29 15 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 23-24
10:04 Port of Gothenburg container volumes up by 17 per cent in 2018
10:00 Brent Crude futures price down 0.36% to $60.92, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.38% to $52.43
09:41 Wilhelmsen Ship Management selected as the manager for Pardus Energy’s FSRU
09:37 Matthieu de Tugny takes helm at BV's Marine & Offshore division
09:18 Baltic Dry Index is down to 982 points

2019 January 23

18:27 Planning for 2020 IMO's sulphur cap has already started
18:13 Eagle Bulk receives commitment for a new credit facility totaling $208 million
18:02 Port of Gdansk (Poland) throughput in 2018 totaled 49.03 million tonnes, up 20.7% Y-o-Y
17:40 Andrei Malyarov elected as Chairman of Severnaya Verf shipyard's BoD
17:19 RWE files acquisition of renewables businesses of E.ON and innogy with European Commission
17:03 The Board of Directors of Fincantieri appoints a second General Manager
16:51 Ice restrictions at the port of Arkhangelsk come into effect on February 15
16:37 USCG interdicts smuggling boat with convicted criminals aboard off Florida
16:24 Regulatory issues related to operation of seaport infrastructure facilities to be discussed at the 2nd HES and Dredging Congress
16:08 First discharge of LPG from Ichthys LNG Project in Japan carried by “K” LINE’s VLGC “GRACE RIVER”
16:03 CMA CGM to launch its Med Pendulum Service (MPS)
15:46 Ice restrictions at the port of Vyborg (Leningrad Region) come into effect on February 6
15:33 Nakilat – Keppel welcomes first FSRU at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
15:28 MHI Vestas achieves final turbine installation at Horns Reef 3
15:18 Rolls-Royce completes €57 million upgrade of Rauma thruster facility
15:03 NYK announces delivery of new coal carrier for Hokkaido Electric Power
14:33 Port of Oakland reports more ships than ever plugging into grid
14:20 Throughput of Port Vysotsky up 10.7% to 7.89 million tonnes in 2018
14:03 Kiel welcomes the TUI Cruises newbuilding
13:45 Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard lays down large freezing trawler of Project СТ-192
13:27 Coast Guard’s only heavy icebreaker arrives at Antarctica
13:02 Rotterdam as a circular hub for the raw materials transition
12:58 The Russian Federation accedes to passenger compensation treaty
12:51 New initiatives to strengthen Singapore as a global maritime hub announced
12:37 SCHOTTEL presents new mechanical hybrid propulsion solution
12:04 Port of Riga cooperates with Balarusian forest industry to further increase its timber cargo volumes
11:42 15 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 22-23
11:16 OSG exercises option for second 204,000 barrel barge at Gunderson Marine
10:55 Maritime Security & Offshore Patrol Week 2019 to be held for the first time ever in Dubai, UAE by IQPC Middle East
10:37 N-KOM welcomes first FSRU at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
10:20 Responsibilities for implementation of state programmes of the Russian Federation divided between Deputy Prime Ministers
10:06 Brent Crude futures price up 0.03% to $61.52, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.02% to $53.03
09:48 Aderco: Planning for 2020 has already started
09:43 Vympel Shipyard lays down yet another hydrographic vessel / buoy tender of Project 19910 for RF Navy
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,036 points

2019 January 22

18:25 Elengy prepares the sale of access capacities to the Fos Tonkin LNG terminal for the period 2021-2030
18:05 Monjasa steps up as the 2nd largest local bunker supplier in the Panama Canal in 2018
17:54 Relampago practices skills with UAE Navy ship
17:35 CalMac takes over the tiller at Argyll Ferries
17:05 NYK gets the highest-rated ‘A’ for Climate Change by CDP Survey
16:42 RF Government proposed candidates to Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port's BoD
16:23 Pilbara Ports Authority achieves a new record tonnage on a single tide at the Port of Port Hedland
15:56 Port of Rotterdam Authority and Rotterdam Port Promotion Council renew collaboration
15:46 ICTSI Subic hits milestone 200,000th TEU move
15:44 Growth seen in several sectors at ABP South Wales
15:28 KONTUR SPb ERT unit’s drills get thumbs up from Rosmorrechflot’s certification commission
15:22 First ship viaVerbrugge Terminals’ new permanent shipping line with South America docks in North Sea Port
15:00 Meyer Turku delivers New Mein Schiff 2 to TUI Cruises in Kiel
14:41 Jotun looks into expansion of ship coatings production in Russia
14:32 HHLA completes expansion of the container rail terminal Burchardkai
14:19 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
14:02 North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation opens the Port of Mackay for new bulk material trades
13:32 China Navigation to acquire the bulk shipping activities of Hamburg Süd
13:22 14 crewmembers of gas carriers which caught fire in the Kerch Strait confirmed dead, five missing