• 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 18

18:06 North Carolina Ports sets new record in 2018
17:47 Freight turnover of Neva-Metal (Saint-Petersburg) in 2018 climbed by 3% Y-o-Y to about 3.2 million tonnes
17:25 Okskaya Sudoverf obtains patent for state-of-the-art pontoons
17:06 Hamburg prepares for ‘Hard Brexit’
16:44 Throughput of port Primorsk in 2018 fell by 7% Y-o-Y to 53.48 million tonnes
16:23 GTT receives a new order from SHI to design the tanks of two LNG carriers on behalf of Gaslog
16:20 NOVATEK elects new Board of Directors
15:56 Throughput of port Vyborg in 2018 grew by 25% Y-o-Y to 1.93 million tonnes
15:33 Stena Line’s first new generation ferry ‘floats’ in China
15:21 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 2018 fell by 1.7% Y-o-Y to 49.8 million tonnes
15:03 Panama Direct service CMA CGM to resume weekly rotations
14:47 Throughput of port Vysotsk in 2018 climbed by 7% Y-o-Y to 18.79 million tonnes
14:33 GranIHC appointed contractor for Equinor’s Peregrino Phase II Project
14:19 Port of Ust-Luga handled 98.72 million tonnes in 2018, down 4% Y-o-Y
14:03 Algoma Central Corporation increases its interest in ocean self-unloader Pool
13:50 18 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 17-18
13:35 Throughput of the Port of St. Petersburg in 2018 up 11% Y-o-Y to 59.32 million tonnes
13:18 CMA CGM unites its Containerships and MacAndrews brands
13:11 Vladimir Putin supports Government’s proposal on expanding Far East Ministry’s functions with Arctic issues
12:49 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 2018 grew by 11% Y-o-Y to 49.276 million tonnes
12:26 MV Werften purchases Neptun Ship Design
12:08 Sakaide shipyard holds naming ceremony for new LNG carrier jointly owned by NYK and JERA
11:38 PGNiG SA signs agreement for oil and gas exploration and production in UAE
11:14 Remote pilotage to be allowed in Finland
10:47 Free zone status is a crucial advantage for the future development of the Freeport of Riga
10:06 Ice restrictions at the port of Ust-Luga come into effect on January 31
09:42 Brent Crude futures price up 0.9% to $61.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.09% to $52.64
09:20 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,077 points

2019 January 17

18:13 PORT OF KIEL presents annual results 2018
17:51 Ice restrictions at the port of Primorsk come into effect on January 25
17:28 Global Ports sets up a common service call centre
17:09 EFIP welcomes and supports the European Parliament position on the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027
17:05 North Sea Port monitoring the Brexit closely
16:44 ABP invests £700K to boost storage at Port of Ipswich
16:27 Global fuel market: still many uncertainties in both demand and supply
16:22 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
16:05 OCEAN Alliance extends duration of OCEAN Alliance to ten years
15:42 COSCO SHIPPING Ports signs agreement with PSA to add two new berths at the terminal in Boao, Hainan
15:31 Liebherr supports the 6th International Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
15:02 Ocean Yield ASA agrees to acquire a modern Suezmax tanker for a consideration of USD 56.0 mln
14:02 SEACOR Marine enters agreement to acquire three additional platform supply vessels from affiliates of COSCO Shipping Group
13:49 Throughput of Chinese ports grew by 4.2% to 9.22 billion tonnes in 2018
13:32 Jensen Maritime provides design for Shaver Transportation’s new tugboat
13:14 OOCL rolls out third phase of Ocean Alliance product refinements
12:50 Baltic Ports Organization’s schedule for 2019 is set
12:38 Port of Los Angeles breaks all-time cargo record in 2018
12:26 Qatar accedes to load lines convention
12:01 Sunseeker International and Rolls-Royce to present first production yacht with MTU hybrid power in 2020
11:51 Bunker prices continue going down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:38 Port of Zeebrugge handled 40.1 million tonnes in 2018
11:25 Nor-Shipping reveals stellar line-up for Ocean Leadership Conference
10:52 10 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 16-17
10:28 NOVATEK’s hydrocarbon production totaled 548.4 million boe in 2018, up 6.9% Y-o-Y
10:03 Brent Crude futures price down 0.34% to $61.11, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.54% to $52.03
09:39 Tallink and Taltech to collaborate on developing smart ship solutions
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,055 points

2019 January 16

18:36 Kongsberg Gruppen enters into an agreement with Rome AS to divest Kongsberg Evotec
18:06 Seaspan Corporation announces the closing of the second tranche of the $1 billion aggregate investment commitment by Fairfax
17:55 INEOS, Europe’s largest petrochemicals company, announces Antwerp as the location for its new ground breaking 3 billion Euro petrochemical investment
17:50 Throughput of Rostov-on-Don port in 2018 grew by 11.5% Y-o-Y to 24.1 million tonnes