Singapore reminds on scrubber residue disposal procedure
A new circular from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) reminds ships and owners that that exhaust gas cleaning residues generated by ships are classified as Toxic Industrial Waste (TIW) under Singapore’s Environmental Public Health (Toxic Industrial Waste) Regulations.
While some are seeing this as a new attack on scrubbers following the MPA’s ban on open loop scrubber operation, it is actually just advising on some of the reception facilities available. Included with the notice is a list of ten reception facilities that are licensed Toxic Industrial Waste Collectors (TIWCs). Ships that wish to dispose of exhaust gas cleaning residues in Singapore are required to engage a licensed TIWC for the collection and disposal of such residues.
The classification of scrubber residue – the sludge that is left after dewatering the scrubber wash stream – as toxic was made in 2018 and is covered in the two guidance booklets for Singapore flagged and non-Singapore flagged ships issued last November.
Regulation 17.2 of MARPOL Annex VI states that each Party to the Convention undertakes to ensure the provision of facilities adequate to meet the needs of ships using its ports, terminals or repair ports for the reception of exhaust gas cleaning residues from a scrubber, without causing undue delay to ships. The exhaust gas cleaning residues are produced as a result of the use of hybrid/closed-loop scrubber by ships to comply with the sulphur limit.
Singapore said in the booklets that ‘as a Party to the Convention, Singapore will provide reception facilities to receive the residues generated from the operation of hybrid/closed-loop scrubbers.’ The MPA also said in the same booklets that it would take steps to ensure supplies of appropriate chemicals for ships to operate as closed loop scrubbers would be made available and treated as routine ship stores.
The booklets can be downloaded from the MPA website at https://www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/singapore-registry-of-ships/about-srs-and-what-new/IMO-2020-Fuel-Oil-Sulphur-Limit