EGCSA: MPA Scrubber Ban Disappointing and Politically Motivated

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  • Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association terms Singapore open-loop scrubbers ban “politically motivated”.
  • Singapore MPA has issued the ban without any discussion despite  being a MARPOL Annex VI signatory.
  • EGCSA rebukes MPA for not showcasing any scientific evidence in favour of the ban.
  • They have called for discussion and evidence-based fact in case of future bans.

Recently, Singapore has banned open-loop scrubbers which has caught off guard the whole world. Most reactions have slammed Singapore for their decision with the latest being the Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) which has called it “disappointing” and “politically motivated”, reports Asian Oil and Gas.

What  did the EGCSA say?

The scrubber manufacturing industry body said in a press release: “The recent announcement by the outgoing CEO of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) banning the discharge of process water from open loop scrubbers for vessels visiting Singapore came without prior notice or discussion with the IMO despite the fact that the Singapore MPA is a signatory to MARPOL Annex VI.”

Reason for rebuking the decision

The MPA provided neither scientific evidence for its decision nor was the industry invited to consultat on it. If there had been discussion, the Singapore MPA might have realised the high risks to human health resulting from the high toxicity of low sulphur fuels and more toxic distillates if no exhaust gas cleaning systems are used, it added.

According to EGCSA, the many dumbbell low sulphur fuels (0.50%S fuel oils) 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.

Call for discussions

As the pronouncement by the Singapore MPA is likely to have a significant effect on crude carriers operating inert gas plant discharging into Singapore refineries and storage facilities as well as all other vessels visiting Singaporean waters, it is disappointing that the Singapore MPA has been less than open about its plans and has not, as far as we can tell, based its decision on proven scientific findings, it said.

“We would urge the IMO, national governments, port and harbour authorities to base any future decisions relating to the use of marine scrubbers, whether they use open or closed loop systems, on evidence and fact,” the press release said.

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Source: AOGdigital

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