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Rivertrace: Shipowners need to be informed of washwater monitoring equipment

With less than a year to go until the sulphur content of marine fuels is
capped at 0.5%, Rivertrace has issued a technical white paper that focuses on
scrubber technology options and washwater monitoring.

Entitled ‘To Scrub or not to scrub?’,
the paper provides the industry with a guide to all options for compliance,
with particular focus on scrubbers and IMO washwater monitoring guidelines.
The paper also explores the impact of sulphur emissions from ships, the
chemistry of scrubbing sulphur from exhaust gases and the benefits associated
with scrubber use.
As the global shipping industry prepares for the arrival of the global
sulphur cap in January 2020, the choice between compliance options to meet fuel
sulphur content restrictions are fast becoming a reality for shipowners.
Options available for shipowners and operators remain
limited to three choices – use a fuel with a low sulphur content, use an engine
that can run on an alternative, ultra-low sulphur fuel (ULSF) or use a scrubber
and continue to burn high sulphur heavy fuel oil (HFO).
Possibly,
the biggest barrier to scrubber acceptance that must be overcome is the issue
that their technical development has, to a large extent, been completed outside
of the IMO’s type approval process, as explained by Rivertrace, the UK-based
washwater monitoring system manufacturer.
Rivertrace
believes that the trust issue could be overcome by the provision of evidence
for scrubber effectiveness.
In
publishing the new white paper, Rivertrace has issued an advisory to shipowners
that during the selection of scrubber technology, careful consideration of what
washwater monitoring equipment is used by the scrubber manufacturer is of vital
importance to ensure that potential regulatory requirements are met in the
future.
“We have seen recent bans on scrubber operation in some
ports because of the washwater discharge issue. However, there is acceptance
that the continued use of scrubbers by ships may depend on being able to prove
that washwater quality is constantly monitored and shown to meet appropriate
standards,” 
Mike Coomber, Managing Director of
Rivertrace, said.
“The fact that scrubber washwater remains
to be the only discharge of its type not subject to the same standards as
discharges from other shipboard systems means that it will almost inevitably
lead the requirement of mandatory monitoring.”
“Therefore, ship owners must be
well-informed of washwater monitoring equipment options and those used by
scrubber manufacturers in order to ensure compliance with future standards,”
Coomber
added.
Looking
to the future, Rivertrace Managing Director anticipates that the IMO’s
washwater guidelines will become mandatory and the accurate monitoring of
washwater will become essential. This could be introduced within 2020 or 2021.
World Maritime News.

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