Dubai: The Port of Fujairah, which is the largest bunkering port in the Middle East, has banned the discharge of waste water with sulphur from engine exhaust gases, Capt. Tamer Masoud, the harbour master, said in a notice.
“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 statement signed by Masoud said.
The move to ban the use of the so called open-loop scrubbers, similar to actions taken by ports in Singapore and China, comes ahead of the global implementation of the IMO-2020 regulations on January 1, 2020, which will cap the sulphur content in marine fuels at 0.5 per cent, from 3.5 per cent currently.
“There has been an ongoing concern with open loop systems, as to whether or not the wash water will be treated adequately to neutralise its chemicals. Though some scrub manufacturers provide an assurance that the wash water is safe for discharge into the sea, it looks like some countries have simply decided to play it safe,” Vandana Hari, founder and chief executive officer at Vanda Insights told Gulf News.
Most of the shipping vessels which used cheaper open-loop scrubbers will now have to search for alternatives which may be to use more expensive scrubbers or use fuel low in sulphur content.
“Any decisions to ban open loop systems should ideally have come a few years before, when shipowners were starting to get the systems installed or making a choice between open and closed loop. Any decisions to ban open loop systems should ideally have come a few years before, when shipowners were starting to get the systems installed or making a choice between open and closed loop,” she added.
The IMO regulations are expected to result in cost increases of $1 trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) over five years globally, a senior executive at S&P Platts told Gulf News recently.
The net effect, which is expected to be temporary and may last for only two years, is expected to increase the cost of most light product prices and freight costs, with a net transfer in excess of $1 trillion over five years from consumers to refiners, sweet crude producers, and others.
“This cost impact will not last forever. Ships will get more scrubbers, new refiners will start up, sweet production is increasing. Two years on, in 2022, it would be back to a new normal. We would be using low sulphur fuel that won’t be as costly as it would be in 2020,” Richard Joswick, managing director oil analytics at S&P Platts said.