EGCSA launches global database

Jul 05 2019

The number of ships fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) by 1st January, 2020 is set to be around 4,000, the EGCSA has claimed.

EGCSA has launched a free to access global database concerning operating rules for EGCS at for those shipowners who have invested in this solution.


This investment in EGCS by a substantial portion of shipowners will also benefit those who have chosen to do nothing and plan just to procure fuel that complies with IMO limits, as the shipowners who have opted for EGCS will alleviate some of the pressure on 0.5% sulfur fuel supplies as they are likely to reduce global demand by about 18%.


When the administrations meeting at IMO decided to set the date for the entry into force of the sulfur cap as 1st January, 2020 instead of 2025, this was in part due to a CE Delft forecast, which implied that a shortage of compliant fuel would likely be diminished by that time.


For ships with a high fuel consumption, the benefits of using EGCS translate into lower operating costs, reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions/tonne of fuel consumed, a cut in particulate emissions of at least 80% and a decrease in overall sulfur oxide emissions below IMO prescribed levels, compared to those shipowners who have chosen to simply switch fuels.


Initial findings from recent studies produced in Japan and presented by CE Delft to the 74th IMO session on 14th May  have, furthermore shown that ships operating open loop EGCS will have close to zero impact on the quality of harbour waters, data that contradicts claims about the negative effect of scrubber process water.


Unfortunately, a handful of nations and ports have decided to operate independently of the IMO and have introduced local requirements for EGCS operations. This unilateral action, albeit limited, has created a degree of uncertainty.


Whilst the EGCSA and other bodies, such as the Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020, cannot prevent unilateral actions by ports and regions, there is an ongoing effort to ensure that governmental bodies, port authorities and decision makers are adequately informed of current research findings and data – data which has not identified any short- or long-term impact on the environment.


To assist in removing uncertainty and inaccurate information, the free to access global EGCSA operational database takes the form of a world map with a zoom-in facility that makes it possible to identify individual wharves and quays and see if there are any restrictions on scrubber operations in place. The database provides links and verified information on legislation or rules that have been imposed. Verification material is included on the database.


Work undertaken by the CSA 2020 and the ICS and any other interested groups will also be incorporated into the EGCSA database once verified, thus ensuring the most comprehensive and up-to-date verified information is made available to ship operators around the world, the organisation explained. 


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