Approval of scrubber systems to get easier

JANUARY 30, 2015 — The Danish Maritime Authority says that an agreement reached last week by an IMO sub-committee will make it easier to verify whether exhaust gas scrubbers comply with the new stricter limit values for sulfur emissions at sea.

With the current regulations it is difficult for shipowners and manufacturers of exhaust gas cleaning systems to document the functioning of the systems. But last week, the second session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 2) succeeded in reaching agreement on amendments to the verification method for approval of exhaust gas cleaning systems.

This specifically means that, in the future, it will become possible – on the basis of calculations – to verify whether scrubbers meet the pH values in force for the wash water used to wash sulfur out of the exhaust gas. The amendment supplements regulations in force until now that dictated that pH measurements should be made in the vicinity of the ship during a sea voyage.

It was originally Denmark that took the initiative to amend the regulations.

"Denmark is striving to make it easier to develop and use solutions capable of reducing sulfur emissions," says Andreas Nordseth Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority. "Therefore, an initiative like this one is a major step in the right direction."

The new calculation method is to be approved at the next session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 68) to be held this spring.

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