09.01.2019

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Speculation continues over Chinese ban on open-loop scrubbers

While media reports suggest that China has banned the use of open-loop scrubbers in its emission control areas (ECA), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has said that this is not yet the case. In recent days, there have been reports that the Ministry of Transport in Beijing has banned open-loop scrubbers from the countrys ECAs, which cover most of Chinas territorial waters.

However, BIMCO states that while Chinese regulators updated part of its domestic emission control area (DECA) regulations with effect from January 1, 2019, authorities have not yet placed a full ban on open-loop scrubbers.

Sources familiar with the matter told BIMCO that according to the updated regulation, the banned areas for discharging wastewater from scrubbers remain within inland ECAs, port waters under coastal DECA and the Bohai Bay waters only.

A full ban on open-loop scrubbers could, however, be adopted soon, sources familiar with the matter also told BIMCO.

If a full ban does come into force, China will join the growing list of ports and authorities that have or will prohibit the use of open-loop scrubbers.

In December, Singapores Maritime Port Authority (MPA) became the latest port to ban the discharge of wash water from open-loop scrubbers in its waters, as HLPFI reported here.