Standard P&I Club recommends members switch to closed-loop settings on hybrid scrubbers or use compliant fuel based on the threat of a ban on wash water discharge in Brazil
Brazilian maritime authority regulations currently allow for scrubbers to be used as a sulphur cap compliance measure, but, as a statement from Standard P&I pointed out, there is no clear language regarding discharge of wash water from open-loop scrubbers, which many other ports have banned.
"[Regulations are] silent on whether there is any restriction or prohibition to discharge wash water from open-loop scrubbers within Brazilian waters and, if so, on the distance from the nearest land point where discharge is allowed," the circular said.
"Based on the above, it is recommended that until the relevant authority clarifies this issue, vessels calling at Brazilian ports are advised to switch to a closed-loop [setting], if equipped with a hybrid scrubber, or use IMO 2020-compliant fuel while entering national waters."
The insurance club cited a report by Proinde P&I, a commercial correspondent for P&I clubs for bunker fuel availability information. The Proinde report said compliant bunker fuel is regularly supplied in most of Brazil’s ports including São Sebastião, Angra dos Reis, Fortaleza and São Luís (Itaqui) and is supplied by barge in the ports of Rio Grande, Paranaguá, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Vitória, Salvador, Belém and Manaus.
Brazil’s Directorate of Ports and Coasts (DPC), the sulphur cap enforcement body in Brazil, will host an advisory forum this week to discuss ballast water management systems, LSFOs and wash water.
Open-loop exhaust gas cleaning system bans are in place in China and Singapore. In addition, Pakistan, Bahrain and Malaysia have all banned open-loop scrubbers. In January 2020, the Suez authority prohibited the use of open-loop scrubbers for ships transiting the Suez canal.
In February this year, a CE Delft study showed that the discharge of washwater from open-loop scrubbers discharge does not breach EU guidelines of some heavy metals. The report did not address acidification effects from scrubber wash water in port and coastal waters.