The 15,000 TEU vessel CMA CGM Zephyr started its maiden voyage from Asia to the Middle East on August 31. Image Credit: CMA CGM
French container line CMA CGM has taken delivery of the first in a series of five ships equipped with a closed-loop scrubber.
The 15,000 TEU vessel CMA CGM Zephyr started its maiden voyage from Asia to the Middle East on August 31, the company said in a statement on its website last week.
While the majority of scrubber installations so far have been of open-loop models that deposit washwater back into the sea, CMA CGM has chosen a more expensive model for its five new ships.
"The group has opted for a system that can function in a closed loop, which enables residue to be collected for treatment at land in specialized sectors," the company said.
This option is more expensive because of the need to pay for disposal of the washwater, as well as because these models tend to use caustic soda for their operation.
Several port authorities around the world have banned the discharge of open-loop scrubber washwater in their waters on concerns over its effect on the marine environment. The scrubber industry's own research into the issue has characterised the level of risk as acceptable.
"If it becomes a requirement that ships take the washwater home, this is already a technological possibility on all scrubber systems," Anders Skibdal, CEO of scrubber manufacturer PureteQ, said in a LinkedIn post commenting on the development.
"All it takes is retrofit of water treatment plants and the establishment of tanks for the washwater.
"It is important to remember that most technologies can be adapted along the way to the demands of authorities."