The European Parliament’s Transport Committee agreed a draft resolution on maritime transport calling for a gradual phase-out of using heavy fuel oil in ships, with the final say on implementing measures to be taken by the European Commission
In response to this, the scrubber advocate group The Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) expressed its disapproval of the vote taken by the Transport Committee to restrict open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS/scrubbers).
The CSA said the vote was taken “without any scientific basis.” The group’s executive director Poul Woodall said “Restricting scrubbers purely as a precaution makes no sense and will slow the path to carbon-neutral shipping.” Adding, “to recommend a restriction on the use of EGCS – a technology that is already putting shipping on the right path towards carbon neutrality – with fundamentally no supporting scientific evidence is only halting the progress we have made so far.”
The Group pointed to the findings of a recent CE Delft study which reported that the increase in CO2 footprint from the additional refining of MGO to likely be in the range of 10-15% and potentially as high as 25%.
By contrast, the increased CO2 from scrubbers is only in the range of 1.0-1.5%.
The CSA expects that an objective risk assessment will confirm the effectiveness of EGCS stating, “The CSA once again emphasises that years of testing, analyses and operations have shown that these exhaust gas cleaning systems provide a significant improvement in shipping’s air emissions quality without any negative impact on the marine environment.”
Around 80% of installed scrubbers are open loop, however ports in several countries including Bahrain, Pakistan, China, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia have restrictions on open loop discharge.
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