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Ports Open-Loop Scrubber Concerns Must Be Addressed - BPA

Logistic News - Published on Mon, 24 Jun 2019

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Mr Mark Simmonds from the British Ports Association said that the impact of open-loop scrubbers on sediments in harbour areas remains unclear. That is concerning many in the ports industry. The words ‘port infrastructure’ usually conjure up images of quay walls, breakwaters, roads and cranes. But some of the most critical infrastructure to port operations is below the water berths and navigational channels maintained at safe depths. All UK harbour authorities, regardless of size or focus, share a common duty to act as guardians of this infrastructure and with it, enable the entire maritime economy. Dredging campaigns are an expensive but unavoidable reality for most ports and can on occasions be a challenging and even emotive issue.

The British Ports Association has been following the growing debate on the use of open-loop scrubbers with interest. Our calls for a grown-up debate between ports and the shipping industry has been met with some understandable concern from certain quarters. But we are determined to ensure that any potential impacts that affect port operations should be properly explored. To date, the focus has been firmly on water quality in the open ocean and coastal areas and latterly, ports. The main concern for most ports, however, is impact on sediments in harbour areas and enclosed waterways.

The debate on the effect of open-loop scrubbers on water quality continues. But the more specific debate on the impact on sediments in port areas particularly ports with enclosed systems has barely begun. Our concern is that the contaminants being removed from ships’ exhaust emissions in ports could build up in sediments, perhaps over many years, making future dredging campaigns more problematic.

Clearly it is in the ports industry’s best interests that its customers can continue to call regularly, but we have seen some ports around the globe ban the use of open-loop scrubbers and that has not gone unnoticed here.

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Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Mon, 24 Jun 2019
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