China has hinted towards the pressure over the use of open-loop scrubbers within the country’s emission control areas (ECAs) from January 2020.

The Chinese transport ministry’s maritime safety administration has given a statement following up the industry feedbacks by 22 August on a draft regulation over how to enforce the IMO 2020 rules.

As per the proposal, the clearance of wash water from open-loop scrubbers will not be granted for vessels sailing in international shipping within China’s ECAs from 2020. We are seeking industry assumptions on such a ban so that we can implement the IMO 2020 sulphur rules effectively and lessen air pollutants from vessels the statement said.

The Chinese ECAs cover 12 nautical miles from the coastline, Bohai Bay, Yangtze River, and Xi River.

Presently, the transport ministry has enforced the discharge ban on open-loop scrubbers in Bohai Bay, Yangtze River, Xi River, and Chinese seaports but blocked it from extending beyond the coastline. Singapore, Fujairah, Belgium, California, and Connecticut in the US have banned open-loop scrubbers as environmental concerns grow. However, this type of exhaust gas cleaning system remains the most popular due to low costs. According to data from DNV GL, the global order-book of scrubbers consists of 3,684 units, of the 2,928 are of the open-loop type.



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