Turkey bans open-loop scrubbers

Turkey has become the latest country to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its territorial waters.

According to the recent circular of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, it is prohibited to discharge washwater from scrubbers into the sea in the territorial waters of the country.

Talks on this started last year in March when Standard Club warned environmental authorities in Turkey may fine ships with open-loop scrubbers if the samples collected from the overboard discharge line are suspected to be pollutant.

The use of exhaust gas cleaning systems has split the shipping industry as they are an accepted equivalent measure in complying with the IMO 2020 global sulphur cap.

An open-loop scrubber uses seawater as the medium for cleaning or scrubbing the exhaust. Seawater is normally supplied by a dedicated pump. CO2 dissolves in seawater forming carbonic acid, bicarbonate or carbonate ions depending on the pH. In a closed loop-type scrubber, meanwhile, treated water is circulated through the scrubber to keep the scrubbing process independent of the chemistry of the waters through which the vessel is sailing.

Turkey has joined the growing list of countries taking action against open-loop scrubbers, including China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and many European ports and regions.

As a result, vessels operating an open-loop scrubber will have to switch to compliant fuels when entering Turkish waters.

Last year the European Parliament’s environmental committee had advised that Europe should phase out the use of open-loop scrubbers and restrict the discharge of scrubber wastewater as soon as possible.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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