The Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) has estimated that there will be around 4,000 exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) also known as scrubbers, in operation by January 1, 2020 when the IMO’s global sulphur cap enters into force.
The association has launched a free-to-access global database covering operating rules for scrubbers to help shipowners and operators prepare for the regulation and ensure correct use of their scrubber systems.
The global database, which can be accessed here, provides a comprehensive source of information on international, regional, national and local SOx emission regulation, together with guidance on the use of scrubbers as an alternative method of compliance. An interactive map shows where scrubbers can be used as a method of compliance, any port restrictions, and whether there are any additional regional, national or local compliance criteria, and indicates where overboard discharges from scrubbers are prohibited. The database provides links and verified information on legislation or rules that have been imposed. Verification material is included on the database.
Organisations such as the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 and International Chamber of Shipping have approached ports and sought feedback from shipowners on scrubbers. The EGCSA reports that the work of these organisations and any other interested groups will also be incorporated into the database once verified, thus ensuring the most comprehensive and up-to-date verified information is made available to ship operators around the world.
According to the EGCSA, the high investment in scrubbers will alleviate some of the pressure on low sulphur fuel suppliers, with an estimated cut of 18 per cent in demand for 0.5 per cent sulphur fuel.
The entry into date of the global sulphur cap could have been set back to 2025, but a CE Delft forecast that implied a shortage of compliant fuel would be diminished by 2020 meant that the sulphur cap date was set at January 1, 2020.
According to the EGCSA, ships with high fuel consumption benefit from a reduction in operational costs by using scrubbers, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a cut in particulate emissions by 80 per cent and a decrease in sulphur emissions to less than IMO permitted levels. The EGCSA believes that those with high fuel consumption will find it more cost-effective to install a scrubber rather than switch to compliant low sulphur fuel.