Saudi Arabia is the latest country to impose restrictions on scrubbers. File Image / Pixabay
Saudi Arabia has joined the list of countries putting restrictions on the use of open-loop scrubbers in their waters.
The Saudi Ports Authority is now banning the discharge of washwater from scrubbers in its waters, the organisation said in a circular last week.
The move is not an outright ban on the use of scrubbers, but will mean in practice that shipowners with open-loop scrubbers that cannot be modified to operate in closed-loop mode will need to burn 0.50% sulfur fuels instead in Saudi waters.
Port authorities in several countries around the world have made similar moves over the past year. The area covered by the waters where open-loop scrubbers can no longer be used is not large enough to cause significant financial problems for shipowners with these systems, but the need to carry small additional quantities of 0.50% sulfur fuels to use in these jurisdictions will be an operational irritant.