Scrubber Advisory from MPA for Singapore Registered Ships

October 2019

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The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has issued an advisory on exhaust gas scrubber installations primarily for Singapore registered vessels but should also be useful as general guidance for Members’ who have vessels fitted or considering installation of the systems for compliance with IMO2020 sulphur cap. The publication can be accessed here.

The advisory is a result of experiences drawn from Flag and Port State inspections and gathered from operators of vessels installed with scrubber systems. The publication provides some useful guidance on necessary considerations for the design and installation of a scrubber system, recommendations on safety systems, operation and training. For vessels likely to operate in territories or ports restricting open loop scrubbing, the advisory has useful guidance on the changeover procedures that should be considered depending on the type of scrubber installation.

As per IMO MEPC.1/Circ. 883 any scrubber system failure of more than one hour or repetitive malfunction is to be reported to the Flag and Port State authority. Drawn from some reported incidents the article includes case studies of scrubber failure highlighting the possible consequences and the causal factors that should be taken note of for appropriate risk mitigation measures in design, installation, operation of the scrubber system and formulation of effective contingencies.

Post 01 Mar 2020 vessels not installed with a scrubber will be prohibited from carrying fuel with more than 0.5% m/m sulphur content. The article provides useful regulatory guidance on what is expected of vessels that are transitioning from initially using compliant fuel to scrubber installation after the 01 Jan 2020 deadline during the commissioning phase and until full certification.