MEPC agrees on scrubber guidance

Overview

The Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) agreed on guidance for a malfunctioning scrubber at a meeting in London last week.

If the Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (EGCS) fails, and the ship is no longer in compliance with the sulphur-rules, the ship should change over to compliant fuel oil, if the EGCS cannot be put back into a compliant condition within one hour.

The failure should also be properly reported in the EGCS Record Book.

The reason for a failure could be either a system error or a failure of a monitoring instrument, where the system malfunction cannot be rectified.

If the ship does not have compliant fuel oil or sufficient amount of compliant fuel oil on board, the ship should communicate a proposed course of action to the relevant authorities (including the ship’s administration), in order to bunker compliant fuel oil or carry out repair works. The authorities need to sign off on this course of action.

There are several different designs of marine exhaust gas cleaning systems that remove sulphur oxides from ship’s engine and boiler exhaust gases. The troubleshooting may therefore vary among the EGCS manufacturer.

The committee discussed, and agreed, on a full set of guidance on ECGS failure – commonly referred to as scrubbers. The guidelines will be issued as an MEPC Circular shortly, which will be available on the BIMCO website when it is released by the IMO secretariat.

Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK

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