Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) has attacked Singapore's restrictions on open-loop versions of the systems as "disappointing" and "politically motivated."
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."
The MPA provided neither scientific evidence for its decision nor was the industry invited to consultationit said. 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.
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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