Ship washwater from exhaust gas cleaning systems challenged

30 September, 2019

More than $12bn (£9.7bn) has been spent on devices, known as open-loop scrubbers, which extract sulphur from the exhaust fumes of ships that run on heavy fuel oil. but dumping the sulphur into the sea [“washwater from exhaust gas cleaning systems”] instead of the air, enabling ships to still use heavy fuel oil. A total of 3,756 ships, both in operation and under order, have already had scrubbers installed according to DNV GL, the world’s largest ship classification company.
Only 23 of these vessels have had closed-loop scrubbers installed, a version of the device that does not discharge into the sea and stores the extracted sulphur in tanks before discharging it at a safe disposal facility in a port.
Under IMO regulations, ships are permitted to use open-loop scrubbers as what they call “equivalents”. These are defined as: “Any fitting, material, appliance or apparatus to be fitted in a ship or other procedures, alternative fuel oils, or compliance methods used as an alternative to that required.”

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