Saudi Ports Authority bans wash water discharge from scrubbers
The Saudi Ports Authority is the latest port to ban the discharge of exhaust wash water from ships equipped with open-loop scrubbers in its waters, in accordance with the IMO 2020 Sulfur Cap.
The port authority shall act on instructions received from the General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection.
The Saudi Ports Authority has stated that the decision will be in effect until an environmental policy has been issued in this regard.
As a result, ships operating an open-loop scrubber will need to turn to compliant fuels when entering the field.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is following in the footsteps of Bahrain, Singapore, the Suez Canal Authority and Malaysia, among others, by banning scrubber wastewater discharges in their waters in the light of environmental concerns.
The key reason behind the concerns is that the quality of the water released contains heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, potentially posing a danger to marine life.
Open-loop scrubbers have become the most common version of exhaust gas technology among owners, the cheapest and least complicated solution to install.
The number of ships with scrubbers in service or on order is projected to exceed 4, 131 by 2023, based on the data available so far.
Owing to COVID-19, several organizations have postponed or cancelled scrubber installations, and it remains to be seen what the ultimate effect of the pandemic would be on the scrubber deployment.
Maritime Business World