China bans “open loop” scrubbers in all rivers and ports

Beijing - China’s maritime authority has banned the discharge of “wash water” used in ships to strip hazardous sulfur emissions from engine exhaust gases from Jan. 1, in an effort to curb pollution of its coastal seas.

The ban on discharges from so-called open-loop scrubbers affects all rivers and ports along China’s coastline and includes the Bohai Sea, according to an official from the China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).

The measure mirrors a similar move made in Singapore ahead of International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that will ban ships from using marine fuels with a sulfur content of more than 0.5 percent from 2020, unless they are equipped with exhaust “scrubbers” to clean up sulfur emissions.

“We adopted the ban in designated regions mainly out of consideration to protect the environment and prevent sulfur content pollution in more acidic waters,” said the official.

Pressed for time?

Get the best news of the week in your inbox

Subscribe ››