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Singapore to ban open-loop scrubbers discharge from Jan 1, 2020: MPA

Singapore — In a significant development, Singapore Friday said it will ban discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers from 2020, thereby giving a major boost to demand for low sulfur compliant fuels including LNG.

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"To protect the marine environment and ensure that the port waters are clean, the discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in Singapore port waters will be prohibited," Andrew Tan, CEO of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said.

Ships fitted with open-loop scrubbers calling at Singapore will be required to use compliant fuel, Tan said addressing the the Singapore Registry of Ships Forum here in the port city.

He also said ships fitted with hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of operation from 2020 onwards. Singapore, as a party to MARPOL Annex VI, will be providing reception facilities for the collection of residues generated from the operation of scrubbers.

Under the new International Maritime Organization regulations, marine fuels with only 0.5% sulfur will be permitted globally from January 1, 2020 compared with the current 3.5%.

Shipowners are encouraged to plan ahead and ensure compliance with the IMO 2020 regulations, Tan said.

Singapore's decision is important because a few other ports in Europe have also taken such steps and this is expected to give a major boost to the demand for compliant low sulfur fuels such as low sulfur fuel oil and marine gasoil and LNG, shipping industry sources said.

--Sameer C. Mohindru,

--Surabhi Sahu,

--Edited by Irene Tang,