Scrubber lobby makes its case on cleanliness of scrubbed wash water
SCRUBBER lobby, the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) took advantage of the 6th session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR6) to hold its first technical conference and present a detailed study of the composition and quality of exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS, or 'scrubber') washwater
SCRUBBER lobby, the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) took advantage of the 6th session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR6) to hold its first technical conference and present a detailed study of the composition and quality of exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS, or 'scrubber') washwater.
The meeting was conducted against the suspicion of CSA 2020 that the European Union and the IMO are angling to discourage the use of scrubbers and have them replaced by more costly liquefied natural gas (LNG) use and strengthen the market for its sale.
The three-year, Carnival-led study collected 281 wash water samples from 53 EGCS-equipped cruise ships, the largest washwater data set in the marine industry, which were then assessed against 54 different test parameters by ISO accredited independent laboratories.
The resulting laboratory analysis reports were then evaluated by Classification Society DNV GL's Maritime Advisory Services and the data compared against various water quality standards, after first confirming that the samples analysed were consistently well within the allowable IMO criteria and regulatory limits.
Then the results were compared to selected national and International water quality standards and land-based wastewater discharge limits, including the German Waste Water Ordinance, the EU Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU, and the EU Surface Water Standards Directive 2013/39/EU.
While these comparisons are not directly applicable to exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), as well-established and representative water quality standards that are protective of the environment, they were appropriate to serve as study benchmark standards.
The EGCS results compared favourably with all standards.
'Comparing scrubber wash water to various other major water standards is useful to provide perspective and to illustrate EGCS wash water quality in a way that is easy to understand,' said Carnival vice president Mike Kaczmarek.
'These comparisons also provide relatable criteria for a number of specific EGCS parameters of interest, such as PAH concentrations, which also have limits within these standards.
'Although these are all recognised standards that are designed to regulate other waters, they do provide confirmation of the quality of water that operators of this technology are returning to the sea, and they provide strong support to the IMO's decision to approve these systems as acceptable means of compliance throughout the world's regional and 2020 global emission control areas (ECAs),' said Mr Kaczmarek.
Said CSA 2020 executive director Ian Adams: 'We want to emphasise that this major study was intended to provide an objective assessment of the quality of scrubber wash water through a rigorous comparison to other world water quality standards, and it now represents the largest, most credible and verifiable data set available. And importantly, the results reaffirm that exhaust gas cleaning systems are effective and safe for the ocean environment.'