CLIA Backs Open Loop Scrubbers

file photo
file photo

Published Feb 6, 2020 6:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has highlighted the findings of three independent reports released in 2019 that show scrubbers, when operated in open-loop mode, have minimal impact on water and sediment quality.

A number of regions have already declared that washwater cannot be discharged, including SingaporeMalaysia and the Suez Canal.

The most recent report, conducted by CE Delft and co-sponsored by CLIA, analyzed the long-term impact of washwater discharges from scrubbers on port water and sediment. Using empirical data from almost 300 washwater samples—the most extensive dataset of this kind to date—it was found that such discharges have minimal environmental impact on water and sediment quality as compared to new European environmental quality standards entering into force in 2021.

The CE Delft report and its findings follow two additional studies released in 2019 which were conducted to further understand the impact of scrubbers on marine environments. This includes a two-year study conducted by DNV GL, which found washwater samples from 53 cruise ships equipped with scrubbers to be below the limits set by major international water quality standards. Another recent study, conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, found the impact of scrubbers on water quality and marine life to be negligible.

Brian Salerno SVP of Maritime Policy at the CLIA said: "These studies are important validators for the industry that these systems, whether operated in open or closed-loop modes, are safe for the environment, in compliance with the new restrictions set forth in IMO 2020 and in keeping with the industry's commitment to responsible tourism practices."

Some CLIA members are also using LNG as a way of meeting the IMO 2020 requirements. The CLIA ocean going cruise fleet includes two ships that are currently using LNG for primary propulsion, with another 25 under construction or on the order books. 

The reports are available here: