UAE has “no objection” to open loop scrubbers

Port of Fujairah The Port of Fujairah in the UAE currently has a ban on open loop scrubbers. Credit: Port of Fujairah

The UAE Federal Transport Authority has publicly confirmed it has “no objection” to ships using open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS/scrubbers), in its waters.

This confirmation was made to the Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020, who said it has received written approvals and no-objection letters regarding open loop scrubbers from at least 20 port authorities and is in the process of seeking permission from the port authorities that have sent written approvals and no-objection letters to publicly name them.

Confirmation of the administration’s stance on scrubbers comes after the Greater Wellington Regional Council, New Zealand, confirmed it has placed no restrictions on the use of scrubbers.

While the Port of Fujairah in the UAE currently has a ban on open loop scrubbers, the CSA said it has presented the air quality benefits that the technology enables to the port, to show that the “criticism is unjustified”.

“We’ll show] facts but authorities responsible for ports really need to make their own decision,” said Christopher Fee, general manager, environment and sustainability, fleet management at Oldendorff, a member of CSA.

Alongside Fujairah, Singapore and China have also declared bans on open loop scrubbers.

The IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) will consider a proposal by the EU 28 Member States and the European Commission to start international level on the discharges from open loop scrubbers at MEPC 74 from 13-17 May.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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