Guide to Marine Scrubbers

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Published Date

December 2018

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Guide to Marine Scrubbers

(Excludes any applicable taxes)

Updated to MEPC 73 (October 2018), this essential guide contains comprehensive information about marine scrubbers, including current regulations and guidelines, details of monitoring, enforcement and penalties, and up-to-date overviews of the scrubber systems currently on the market.

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This publication from Witherby Publishing Group is a valuable resource that will assist shipowners and operators in complying with the 2020 global sulphur in marine fuel regulations.



Chapter 1 Introduction to the Use of Scrubbers

Chapter 2 IMO Regulations and Guidelines

2.1 Global Legislation

2.2 Regional IMO Legislation

2.2.1 The Baltic Sea SOx ECA (NOx ECA from January 2021)

2.2.2 The North Sea SOx ECA (NOx ECA from January 2021)

2.2.3 The North American SOx/NOx ECA

2.2.4 The United States Caribbean Sea SOx/NOx ECA

2.3 The 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems

Chapter 3 Domestic Legislation

China Territorial Waters, Hong Kong and Taiwan

3.1.1 Zhujiang (Pearl River) Delta

3.1.2 Yangtze River Delta

3.1.3 Bohai Rim Waters

3.1.4 Timeline of Chinese Domestic Emission Control Areas

3.1.5 Hong Kong

3.1.6 Taiwan

3.2 The European Union

3.2.1 Directive 2012/33/EU

3.3 California State Legislation

3.4 Australia

3.5 Turkey

3.6 Panama Canal

3.7 Legislation for the Discharge of Waste

3.7.1 The Port Reception Facilities (PRF) Directive (2000/59/EC)

Chapter 4 Factors Influencing the Choice of Scrubber

4.1 Costs

4.2 Route

4.3 Ship Type and Space Available Onboard

4.4 Energy Requirements

4.5 Maintenance Available and System Support

4.6 Crew Training and Safety

4.7 Compliance

4.8 Incentive Schemes

4.8.1 Environmental Ship Index (ESI)

4.8.2 The Green Award

4.8.3 The Clean Shipping Index (CSI)

4.8.4 GHG Emissions Rating

4.8.5 The Maritime Singapore Green Initiative

4.8.6 The Swedish Environmentally Differentiated Fairways Dues

4.8.7 Multiple Incentive Schemes

Chapter 5 Scrubber Technologies

5.1 Wet Scrubbers

5.1.1 Open loop EGCS

5.1.2 Closed loop EGCS

5.1.3 Hybrid EGCS

5.2 Main Components of Wet Scrubbers

5.2.1 The EGC unit or scrubber tower

5.2.2 The washwater (discharge water) treatment plant

5.2.3 The sludge handling unit

5.3 Configuration of the EGCS

5.3.1 Single stream/line configuration – a main stream scrubber

5.3.2 Multi stream configuration – an integrated scrubber

5.4 Water Flow Rate

Chapter 6 Certification

6.1 The 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems

(Resolution MEPC.259(68))

6.1.1 Scheme A

6.1.2 Scheme B

6.1.3 Washwater

6.2 Class Society Approval

Chapter 7 Monitoring and Penalties

7.1 Monitoring Exhaust Emissions and Waste Water Quality

7.1.1 Onboard Monitoring

7.1.2 Remote Monitoring

7.1.3 Transitory Non-Compliance

7.2 Enforcement and Penalties

7.2.1 United States Penalties

Chapter 8 Data sheets for Wet Scrubbers

8.1 AEC Maritime Scrubber

8.2 Alfa Laval PureSOx

8.3 Andritz SeaSOx Scrubber

8.4 BET Maritime SOx Scrubber

8.5 BlueSulf EGCS

8.6 CleanSOx Scrubber

8.7 CROE Scrubber

8.8 ECO-EGC™ Scrubber

8.9 Fuji Electric SaveBlue Scrubber

8.10 Ionada Membrane Scrubber™

8.11 LAB DeepBlueLAB SOx™ EGCS

8.12 Langh Tech Scrubber


8.14 Mitsubishi Active Funnel SOx Scrubber

8.15 Pacific Green Technologies ENVI-Marine™ Scrubber

8.16 PaSOx™ Scrubber

8.17 PureteQ Maritime Turbo Scrubber


8.19 Viswa Scrubber

8.20 Wärtsilä SOx Scrubber

8.21 Yara Marine Scrubber

Figures for estimated scrubber uptake have been largely based on the projected price and availability of low sulphur fuel. These estimates can be overlaid against the projected operational costs of scrubbers, including the costs of extra fuel, sludge disposal, any chemicals used in the scrubbing process and the maintenance and repair of equipment. This provides an estimate total of around US$45 per ton of bunker fuel scrubbed. Initial costs and financing costs will slightly favour uptake by larger vessels.


A survey of senior technical managers, OEMs, marine lubricant suppliers and scrubber manufacturers, in 2017 by The Strategy Works, found that 40% of senior technical managers in shipping companies would prefer to use scrubbers to comply with the global sulphur restrictions. A survey from the global banking firm UBS Ltd in 2017 showed different results, with 74% of ship owners planning to use low sulphur fuel for global sulphur cap compliance and 19% planning to install scrubbers. However the compliance solutions are divided up, there is a consensus that the shipping community will employ different solutions (including scrubbers) to be compliant with the 2020 sulphur regulations, and that these will depend on individual circumstances.


The charterer and the owner have different responsibilities and this is an important reason why the scrubber market has been slow to take off in specific sectors. Depending on the conditions of the charter party agreement, the cost of fuel may be the responsibility of the operator or the charterer. Since, in some segments of the shipping sector, the contracts in which the charterer is responsible for purchasing the fuel are favoured, pressure could be put on the owners to install scrubbers if the price point for ULSFO is too high. However, the owner would have the considerable initial costs of the scrubber purchase and installation to consider. The installation of a scrubber unit on board a vessel under short term charter (6 months) would not be economic for the charterers, even if it might be in the best interests of the owner.


When a new piece of major legislation is agreed, ship/fleet managers and owners must consider many factors. These include whether there is a significant initial costs associated with the changes, the likelihood of loss of hire during installation of equipment and if there will be potentially significant training and ongoing operational costs. The following basic considerations should be analysed:


• When does the new legislation take effect?

• can it be avoided?

• what ships does it affect (type/age/number)?

• are there any exemptions/extensions available?

• what are the various options available for compliance?

• which has the lowest overall cost?

• what is the lead time required for delivery compared to the due date for compliance?

• what are the majority of other ship owners opting for?

• what is the age profile of the ships in the fleet that are affected?

• does the remaining commercial acceptability, age and current maintenance costs of a ship justify the expenditure or should it be sold/scrapped early? Is there a viable return on the initial costs over the remaining life of the ship?


Industry estimates are that the 2020 requirements could add annual total costs in the order of USD$50 billion to the total shipping industry’s fuel bill in 2020.


Ship owners currently have three alternatives to cope with the mandate:


• Utilising marine distillates

• installing scrubbers on board so that they can continue using HFO

• switching to LNG if the assumption is made that the bunkering infrastructure will be in place.


It is important to note that a scrubber will allow equivalent compliance with both global (0.50% m/m (mass by mass)) and ECA (0.10% m/m) sulphur in fuel requirements. If the choice is made to use low or ultra-low sulphur fuels, switching will still have to be carried out to ensure compliance in the stricter ECA regions.



Title: Guide to Marine Scrubbers
Product Code: WS1572K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-803-8 (9781856098038), ISBN 10: 1-85609-803-6 (1856098036)
Published Date: December 2018
Binding Format: Hardback
Book Height: 210 mm
Book Width: 150 mm
Book Spine: 15 mm
Weight: 0.80 kg

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