The Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed to task its sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) to look into the discharge from open-looped scrubbers, in particular the environmental impact of the washwater. This was decided at the meeting (MEPC 74) held last week.
During the meeting, several delegations expressed some fundamental concerns whether a scrubber system could constitute a more favourable treatment of ships equipped with a scrubber system (or Exhaust Gas Cleaning System), compared to ships using compliant fuel.
Today, the industry is faced with many new national or regional rules on the water discharges from scrubbers. These rules are increasingly restricting - or even prohibiting – ships from discharging scrubber washwater certain sea areas - such as ports, estuaries and coastal areas. Hence, as part of the work, PPR is tasked to evaluate and possibly harmonize the rules and guidance on the discharge of washwater from scrubbers.
Preliminary results from scientific studies modelling the accumulative effect of scrubber discharge in port shows very limited effect when compared to the EU water quality standards.
This is not an issue that will be decided soon, as finalization is expected in 2022.
Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.
Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.
The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.
For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.
Want to buy or download a BIMCO publication? Use the link to get access to the ballast water management guide, the ship master’s security manual and many other publications.