The UAE’s Port of Fujairah will ban the use of open loop ship exhaust cleaners once the IMO 2020 sulphur regulations come into place, according to a port document sent to Reuters.
In the faxed document, Fujairah’s harbour master said: “Please be advised that Port of Fujairah has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters. Ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulphur cap comes into force.”
The document was sent to agents, bunkering companies and oil terminal users. Fujairah is one of the world’s busiest oil terminals for shipments of oil from the Arabian Gulf.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will prohibit ships from using fuels with sulphur content above 0.5 percent from January 1st, 2020, compared with 3.5 percent today.
Those ships still using heavy fuel oil with high sulphur content will need to fit scrubbers to their exhaust systems, but there have been moves to restrict the use of open-loop scrubbers in various jurisdictions.
The other types of scrubber - closed-loop and hybrid - are still accepted for use in many locations.
Open loop scrubbers are cheaper, but while they prevent sulphur emissions from ships escaping into the atmosphere, heavy metals and sulphur end up being discharged into seas with washing water.
Acting on environmental concerns, Singapore announced in November a ban on the discharge of “wash water” used in ships to scrub engine exhaust from 2020.
China last month banned discharges from open-loop scrubbers across all rivers and ports along its coastline from January 1st, 2019.