EGCSA launches global database to eliminate uncertainty around the operation of exhaust gas cleaning systems

 

 

 

 

STAINES, 28 June 2019 – With just six months until the entry into force of a global marine fuel sulphur cap of 0.50%, the number of ships fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) by 1 January 2020 is set to be around 4,000. The EGCSA has today launched a free to access global database concerning operating rules for EGCS at www.egcsa.com for those ship-owners who have invested in achieving a cleaner environment with the help of EGCS. Consultants to IMO, CE Delft, had forecast some 3,000 ships would be fitted with EGCS by 2020. This investment in exhaust gas cleaning systems by a substantial portion of ship-owners will also benefit those ship-owners who have chosen to do nothing and plan just to procure fuel that complies with IMO limits. The significant number of ship-owners who have opted for EGCS will alleviate some of the pressure on 0.50% sulphur fuel supplies as they are likely to reduce global demand by approximately 18%.

When the administrations meeting at IMO decided to set the date for the entry into force of the sulphur cap as 1 January 2020 instead of 2025 it was in part due to the CE Delft forecast. This report implied that a shortage of compliant fuel would likely be diminished by that time. For ships with high fuel consumption, the benefits of using EGCS translate into lower operating costs, reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions/tonne of fuel consumed, a cut in particulate emissions of at least 80% and a decrease in overall sulphur oxide emissions below IMO prescribed levels compared to those ship-owners who have chosen to simply switch fuels. This capital-intensive investment by some ship-owners will, in other words, benefit the entire industry whilst improving air quality. Initial findings from two recent studies, the first produced in Japan[1] and a second presented by CE Delft to the 74th IMO MEPC session on 14 May[2], have furthermore shown that ships operating open-loop EGCS will have close to zero impact on the quality of harbour waters, data that contradicts claims about the negative effect of scrubber process water.

Open-loop scrubber operations in ports

IMO’s role in the 2020 regulation has been to introduce more environmentally sound shipping whilst enabling world trade to proceed unencumbered. In most cases, new regulations are observed by all administrations at IMO. Unfortunately, a handful of nations and ports have decided to operate independently of the IMO and have introduced local requirements for the operation of EGCS. This unilateral action, albeit limited, has created a degree of uncertainty at a time when there is a significant body of opinion that regard air quality and GHG emissions as critical to the future of mankind. Whilst the EGCSA and other bodies such as the Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 cannot prevent unilateral actions by ports and regions, there is an ongoing effort to ensure that governmental bodies, port authorities and decision makers are adequately informed of current research findings and data – data which has not identified any short- or long-term impact on the environment[3].

Launch of global EGCSA database

The ship-owners who have invested in a cleaner environment now face a degree of uncertainty over the operation of EGCS. To assist in removing uncertainty and inaccurate information, the free to access global EGCSA operational database takes the form of a world map with a zoom-in facility that makes it possible to identify individual wharfs and quays and see if there are any restrictions on the operation of EGCS in place. The database provides links and verified information on legislation or rules that have been imposed. Verification material is included on the database.

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (a ship-owners organisation) has approached numerous ports to identify any local rules. The International Chamber of Shipping has also sought feedback from its ship-owner community. The work of these organisations and any other interested groups will also be incorporated into the EGCSA database once verified, thus ensuring the most comprehensive and up-to-date verified information is made available to ship operators around the world.

About the EGCSA

The Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) was established in 2008 to help create a sustainable operating environment within the marine and energy industry sectors for exhaust gas cleaning system technologies, providing clarity and a rational voice for those companies interested in reducing marine exhaust gas emissions. A key objective for EGCSA is to develop and promote a high level of integrity and standards in exhaust gas cleaning, through knowledge transfer and interaction with regulators and other organisations. EGCSA offers impartial technical information, advice and opinion on the many current and future issues and challenges related to emissions reduction and marine exhaust gas cleaning systems. Member companies of the EGCSA are involved in the development, design and final installed configuration and design approval and acceptance of turnkey exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet the current and future emissions regulations of IMO and, where applicable, additional regulations introduced by regional and national authorities.

For further technical information, please contact: For further press information, please contact:
Don Gregory

EGCSA
8 The Island
Wraysbury
Staines TW19 5AS
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7884 113690
Email: info@egcsa.com

Philippa Watts

Marketing Communications Consultant
Sowton
Exeter EX5 2AG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7771 857 856
Email: philippa.watts@pwpr.org

[1] http://anave.es/images/documentos_noticias/2019/scrubbers_dischargewater_japan.pdf

[2] https://www.cleanshippingalliance2020.org/latest-news/new-study-finds-negligible-environmental-impact-accumulated-wash-water

[3] BP marine Effects of Seat Water Scrubbing report; http://www.egcsa.com/wp-content/uploads/BP_Final_Report_rev.pdf

STATEMENT BY THE EGCSA CONCERNING THE ANNOUNCED BAN ON OPEN LOOP MARINE SCRUBBER DISCHARGE BY THE SINGAPORE MPA

STAINES, 4 December 2018 – The IMO legislated to introduce a 0.5 % sulphur cap for all shipping vessels from 2020 with the aim of protecting human health and the marine environment from noxious sulphur dioxide emissions. The shipping industry is reacting responsibly by fitting vessels with exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), so-called marine scrubbers, or by switching to low sulphur fuel.

The recent announcement by the outgoing CEO of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) banning the discharge of process water from open loop scrubbers for vessels visiting Singapore came without prior notice or discussion with the IMO despite the fact that the Singapore MPA is a signatory to MARPOL Annex VI. The MPA provided neither scientific evidence for its decision nor was the industry invited to consultation. If there had been discussion, the Singapore MPA might have realised the high risks to human health resulting from the high toxicity of low sulphur fuels and more toxic distillates if no exhaust gas cleaning systems are used. The many dumbbell low sulphur fuels (0.50%S fuel oils) are also expected to have less complete combustion as the fuel boiling point distribution and that this will also contribute to higher particulate matter discharge and poorer air quality in Singapore.

As the pronouncement by the Singapore MPA is likely to have a significant effect on crude carriers operating inert gas plant discharging into Singapore refineries and storage facilities as well as all other vessels visiting Singaporean waters, it is disappointing that the Singapore MPA has been less than open about its plans and has not, as far as we can tell, based its decision on proven scientific findings.

We would urge the IMO, national governments, port and harbour authorities to base any future decisions relating to the use of marine scrubbers, whether they use open or closed loop systems, on evidence and fact.

Ships operating an inert gas plant have discharged process water from open loop scrubbers in the port area for over 50 years. No studies have been published that indicate measurable harm to the marine environment. Nor has the operation of open loop scrubbers at numerous facilities on land such as power station shown to be detrimental to waterways or the environment. In fact, Asia has adopted flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) for several power stations. They include Mawan (1.8GW) in Shenzhen, Guandong province, China, Tanjung Bin (2.1GW) in Malaysia, Paiton (1.4GW) in Indonesia, Manjung (2.1GW) in Malaysia. The FGD installation at Mawan has been listed in China’s “Cross Century Green Project Plan” and the “Blue Sky Project” programme by the government of Guangdong Province and is regarded as a model by the Chinese National Environment Protection Bureau for other seawater flue gas desulphurisation (SWFGD) projects. Around the world there are over 50 GW of General Electric (Alstom) installed sea water scrubbing systems for FGD. The General Electric (Alstom) sea water scrubbing process has been recognized and approved by several environmental agencies around the world. In the working draft of the European IPPC Bureau’s Council Directive 96/61/EC on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, Alstom’s SWFGD is included as a BAT (Best Available Technique) and described under “3.4.1.2 Seawater Scrubbing”.

Port authorities should consider that the ban of open loop marine scrubber operations is likely to promote the use of low sulphur fuel oils using 0.10%S distillate which have been shown to have a significantly higher toxic impact than heavy sulphur fuel oils (HSFO) (see “Health Effects of Shipping Emissions by Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Rostock University and Helmholtz Zentrum München study, presented at the Asia Emissions Technology Conference in Singapore in November 2017). There is furthermore evidence from the refining industry and the IMO Secretary General’s Expert Group on sulphur to show that scrubbers emit 3%-5% less CO2 than low sulphur fuels over their lifecycle. A study by the University of Rostock furthermore identifies the exhaust emissions from low sulphur diesel fuels as posing a greater risk to human health than marine exhaust gas scrubbers.

It is also apparent that in order to address black carbon and other harmful ultrafine particles, the use of exhaust gas after-treatment is going to have to become ubiquitous as long as liquid fossil fuels are the main stay of a ship’s energy. Investing in these technology developments will certainly be hampered by administrations if they act as unreliable stakeholders.

As the Singapore MPA’s announcement focused on open loop scrubbers, one conclusion that may be drawn is that there is a significant difference between the discharge from an open loop EGCS to the discharge from an EGCS operating in closed loop mode. What is not clear or published by the MPA is their assessment of the differences and consequent measured or predicted environmental impact.

The EGCSA welcomes dialogue and evaluation based on science and evidence. We encourage all ports to avoid the quick headline which is politically motivated and provides no measurable society benefit and instead to seek dialogue with the industry, conduct thorough investigations into all the available options for meeting the 2020 sulphur cap and to focus on sustainable solutions that will stand the test of time.

About the EGCSA
The Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) was established in 2008 to help create a sustainable operating environment within the marine and energy industry sectors for exhaust gas cleaning system technologies, providing clarity and a rational voice for those companies interested in reducing marine exhaust gas emissions. A key objective for EGCSA is to develop and promote a high level of integrity and standards in exhaust gas cleaning, through knowledge transfer and interaction with regulators and other organisations. EGCSA offers impartial technical information, advice and opinion on the many current and future issues and challenges related to emissions reduction and marine exhaust gas cleaning systems. Member companies of the EGCSA are involved in the development, design and final installed configuration and design approval and acceptance of turnkey exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet the current and future emissions regulations of IMO and, where applicable, additional regulations introduced by regional and national authorities.

For further technical information, please contact:
Don Gregory
EGCSA
8 The Island
Wraysbury
Staines TW19 5AS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7884 113690
Email: info@egcsa.com

For further press information, please contact:
Philippa Watts
Marketing Communications Consultant
Sowton
Exeter EX5 2AG
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7771 857 856
Email: philippa.watts1@btinternet.com

A stamp of quality – customers can expect high standards from EGCSA members

As the 10th anniversary of the founding of the EGCSA approaches, it is gratifying to report around 1,000 globally trading ships have fitted or ordered exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS). The figure amounts to 100 ships per year of EGCSA’s existence or about 5 ships per year per EGCSA member.

Clearly the larger companies have the lion’s share of the installations and order book but nevertheless the dogged persistence of EGCSA members will now hopefully provide a return to their investors, no matter the size of the member company. It will not be super-profits. The shipping industry has been spoilt on low cost ships and equipment for too long. That will have to change in a world where steel work will in future have to be complimented by sophistication if the industry is to meet the raft of new environmental requirements.

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Scrubber orders full ahead

A survey of EGCSA members has revealed that scrubber uptake is rapidly accelerating with the number of ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems installed or on order standing at 983 as of 31 May 2018.

This follows a slew of recent reports that major ship operators, including Spliethoff, Frontline, DHT and Star Bulk have opted for scrubbers. One of the ‘big’ container companies has confirmed it will use scrubbing as part of its 2020 compliance portfolio and there are rumours that others will do likewise.

Until relatively recently the largest installed exhaust handling capacity has been for engine powers in the region of 25 to 30MW. However, the latest data shows that this has been well and truly exceeded by a retrofitted hybrid system for a 72MW container ship engine. Large capacity scrubbers are not confined to retrofits as the maximum size new building installation is a hybrid system for a 65MW engine.

Read more