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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has said it will prohibit the discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in Singapore port waters from 1 January 2020.

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To prepare for the IMO 2020 Fuel Oil Sulphur Limit, ships fitted with open-loop scrubbers calling at Singapore will be required to use compliant fuel and ships fitted with hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of operation, stated Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA.

Speaking at the Singapore Registry of Ships Forum 2018 on 30 November, he said “the discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in Singapore port waters will be prohibited to protect the marine environment and ensure port waters are clean”.

As a major hub for large tankers and containerships the move by Singapore will have a significant impact as scrubbers are largely being fitted to vessels such as very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and ultra-large containerships (ULCs) where the economics of scrubbers provide the shortest payback period on the investment in the equipment. The move could be a setback for shippers bunkering in Singapore that have invested in scrubbers.

Mr. Tan, chief executive manager Singapore Maritime Port Authority

Mr. Tan, chief executive manager Singapore Maritime Port Authority

More guidance ahead

Singapore, as a party to MARPOL Annex VI, will be providing reception facilities for the collection of residues generated from the operation of scrubbers, Mr Tan confirmed. MPA will be issuing a set of guidance by the second quarter of 2019, covering topics such as fuel availability in Singapore, reception facilities for scrubber residues, and enforcement measures.

Source: Port Technology – Greenport