The Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) has criticized the decision of the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore to ban the discharge of wash water from open loop scrubbers in Singaporean waters in 2020.
Singapore said it had made the decision to protect the marine environment There have been fears that the contents of the released water in open-loop scrubbers include heavy metals and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, which pose a potential risk to marine life.
EGCSA believed that the decision came without a consultation process with the industry representatives and that it was not based on proven scientific findings.
“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,” EGCSA said.
The association insisted that there were greater risks to human health resulting from the high toxicity of low sulphur fuels and more toxic distillates if no exhaust gas cleaning systems were used.
“The many dumbbell low sulphur fuels 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,” EGCSA said.
Data from the DNV GL classification society has showed that 72% of the total scrubber systems installed are open loop systems, with the majority being closed-loop ready.
Nikolas Tsakos, CEO of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) and Chairman of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), has been a major voice against open-loop scrubbers.