Pro-Scrubber Group Calls European Commission Scrubber Move Disappointing

Wednesday February 20, 2019

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) has taken issue with the European Commission over its scrubber discharge 'evaluation and harmonisation' proposal which has been sent to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for discussion.

The pro-scrubber groups has said the proposal which has gone to the IMO's marine environment protection committee meeting in London in May is based on speculation and is an attempt to "push forward restrictions on scrubbers".

"CSA 2020 members have been investing for years to prepare their ships in time to meet emissions abatement targets in accordance with existing IMO and European Union (EU) rules," said the group's director, Ian Adams.

The practice of using open and closed-loop scrubbers in all waters is accepted by the IMO, EU and others. 

Putting restrictions on scrubbers within months of the entry-into-force of the global emissions control area "is beyond disappointing", Adams said.

"I am sure Brussels is very aware that existing scientific data shows significant air emissions improvement from scrubbers, with no likely impact on the ocean environment, but it appears the submission to IMO was prepared with speed rather than accuracy," according to Adams.

Criticisms of open-loop scrubbers, where wash water is discharged into open waters, has led a handful of port authorities to ban their operation in port.