Approval of exhaust gas cleaning systems made easier
Last week, the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to amend the guidelines on approval of exhaust gas cleaning systems. The intention is to make it easier to meet the sulphur limit values, for example in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Now, it becomes easier to verify whether exhaust gas cleaning systems comply with the stricter limit values for sulphur emissions at sea.
With the current regulations it is difficult for ship owners 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 washwater used to wash sulphur out of the exhaust gas. The amendment supplements the regulations in the area in force until now, which – rather onerously – 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, and Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority Andreas Nordseth is pleased about this:
”Denmark is striving to make it easier to develop and use solutions capable of reducing sulphur emissions. Therefore, an initiative like this one is a major step in the right direction.”
Now, 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.