Ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020
sulphur cap comes into force,” according to the Port of Fujairah Notice to
Mariners No.252 dated January 22, 2019.
The port joins another major bunkering hub in initiatives
targeting the use of open-loop scrubbers.
Namely, the Port of Singapore plans to prohibit the
discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in its waters as of
January 1, 2020.
The move has been attributed to the port’s efforts aimed at
protecting marine environment and ensuring port waters are clean. The measure
is linked to the fears that the contents of the released wash water include
heavy metals and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, potentially posing a risk to
As a result, ships fitted with open-loop scrubbers calling
at Singapore will be required to use compliant fuel, while ships fitted with
hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of
Separately, Irish Port of Waterford announced that as of the
start of January 2019, the discharge of exhaust gas scrubber wash water is
prohibited within the limits of the Port of Waterford Company.
This applies to all vessels berthed at any berth within the
port’s jurisdiction and vessels on transit to and from any berth or anchorage.
Upon entering port limits any vessel fitted with exhaust gas scrubbers, must
run on a “closed loop system” for the duration of the port stay.
“Currently there is no assessment of the long term
environmental impacts of the use of exhaust gas scrubbers. However, given the
potential for impact on ecosystems, it is the policy of the Port of Waterford
Company that wash water from exhaust gas scrubber systems shall not be
discharged to surface waters within the jurisdiction of the port company,” the
The shipping industry seems to be split on the installation
of scrubbers on board ships as a way of meeting the upcoming 2020 sulphur cap.
On the one hand, owners believe that ships with scrubbers
are likely to reap fruits from higher charter rates come 2020, as prices of
compliant fuels would be much higher than that of high sulphur fuel oil. On the
other hand, industry giants, like Euronav, are not convinced high returns can
be achieved on considerable upfront capital investment and are concerned about
the technology’s environmental impact.
Since the second half of 2018, there has been a major pickup
in the ordering of scrubbers ahead of the 2020 sulphur cap, as shipping
companies rushed to prepare for the regulation seeing that the hoped delay of
its enforcement was out of the question. According to the recent data from DNV
GL, there are around 1,850 ships with installed or confirmed scrubber systems
installations. What is more, DNV GL estimates that 2,500 of ships would be
fitted with scrubber systems by 2020.