Detailed speaker programme now available for IMO sulphur 2020 and alternative fuels symposium 17-18 October
The detailed programme is now available here –
IMO is hosting a Symposium on IMO 2020 and Alternative Fuels on Thursday, 17 October and Friday, 18 October 2019 in the Main Hall at IMO Headquarters.
Open to media and wider public.
Livestreaming will be available here https://streaming.imo.org/
What about scrubbers? – they will be addressed in the 16:30 session
16:30 – 17:15 Use of scrubbers and LNG to comply with the 0.50% requirement
Don’t miss day two on Options and drivers for alternative fuels to decarbonize the shipping industry / Stakeholder perspectives on alternative fuels and decarbonization of the shipping industry,
Meanwhile, we have included questions and answers on EGCS on the IMO sulphur 2020 page:
See section –
Are all types of scrubbers allowed under IMO rules?
Yes, so long as they achieve the same level of emissions reduction.
Regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI allows for Administrations (flag States) to approve “equivalents” – any “fitting, material, appliance or apparatus to be fitted in a ship or other procedures, alternative fuel oils, or compliance methods used as an alternative to that required” – that enables the same standards of emission control to be met.
For reduction of sulphur oxide emissions, some flag States have accepted and approved scrubbers – otherwise known as “Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems”, as meeting the requirements for sulphur oxide reduction.
There is an important requirement in the same regulation on Equivalents, which says that in paragraph 4 “The Administration of a Party that allows the use of an equivalent …. shall endeavour not to impair or damage its environment, human health, property, or resources, or those of other States”.
IMO has adopted strict criteria for discharge of washwater from EGCS. Any residues, where generated by the EGC unit usually in a closed-loop configuration, should be delivered ashore to adequate reception facilities. Such residues should not be discharged to the sea or incinerated on board.
Open-loop scrubbers add water to the exhaust gas which turns sulphur oxides (SOx) to sulphates/sulphuric acid. Open-loop scrubbers return washwater to the sea. The washwater must meet strict criteria, so that discharge washwater should have a pH of no less than 6.5. There are also strict limits on discharge of PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and nitrates.
The guidelines, with the washwater criteria, (last revised and adopted in 2015), are currently under review in the IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR).
Some Member States have raised environmental concerns about EGCS discharge and the Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC) at its last session in May 2019 asked the PPR Sub-Committee to look into “Evaluation and harmonization of rules and guidance on the discharge of liquid effluents from EGCS into waters, including conditions and areas”.
IMO is liaising with the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), an advisory body that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. A GESAMP task team has been established to assess the available evidence relating to the environmental impact of discharges of exhaust gas cleaning system effluent, with a view to reporting its findings in 2020.
Why have some ports already banned discharge of washwater?
Some IMO Member States have taken a precautionary approach towards washwater discharge and have taken measures to limit or restrict discharge of washwater in their local ports and coastlines.
States have the right under UNCLOS to adopt their own laws and measures to reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from ships in their ports, internal waters and territorial seas.
Where can I find out which ships have EGCS or are using other equivalents?
The IMO GISIS module on MARPOL annex VI includes a list of notifications received from IMO Member States in relation to Regulation 4.2 Equivalent compliance method. You can view the database here.