On 1st January 2020 the IMO legislation on low sulfur fuel came into force, leaving the possibility to continue using HSFO for vessels equipped with scrubbers. The report mentions that now most of ships use 0,5% sulfur fuel. However, an important number of ships (4300 in 2020) use scrubbers.

EUROSHORE has always pleaded for making the difference between closed and open loop scrubbers due to the difference of impact on the environment. Zero-discharge is the only way to prevent any damage of the marine environment and its biodiversity. Once again, this report confirms the harmful impact of the discharge of washwater on the marine environment and many ports are banning the use of open-loop scrubbers. Port Reception Facilities are solution providers for the maritime industry and through their collaboration with ports they provide the adequate services to collect and manage what has not been discharged at sea. Many of them have made necessary adaptation and investments to collect and treat waste from closed-loop scrubbers.

EUROSHORE welcome the idea that IMO could pass a resolution to stop dumping scrubber discharge into the sea. According to us, this should be everywhere and not in protected areas only as any area deserve to be protected. The negative impact is the same whatever the area.

Regarding the idea of banning both type of scrubbers, EUROSHORE would like to draw the attention of public authorities that alternative fuels are still under development and have a low penetration. During this necessary transitional period, it is important to make the difference between open and closed loop scrubbers in order to keep the capacity to limit the pollution of the oceans, in particular in costal and protected areas, which are the most strongly impacted areas. Closed loop scrubbers (instead of hybrid or open loop scrubbers) are the only way to make sure that no discharge at sea happen.

Finally, EUROSHORE considers that a ban of open loop or hybrid scrubbers should be accompanied by important dissuasive fines for any discharge at sea. Today we have the means to calculate, according to the ship and to the route, what should be the residues discharged at ports.

Link to the report here

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is an independent non-profit organization. They provide research and technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators in order to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of road, marine, and air transportation. Their marine program work, among others, for the IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) on different policies including the development of Emission Control Areas (ECAs), Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) targets for new vessels, controls for black carbon emissions, and, most recently, IMO’s Comprehensive GHG Reduction Strategy.