At Riviera’s Maritime Air Pollution, Europe: EGCS leading scrubber manufacturers discuss future

CROE Marine Scrubber

Major EGCS manufacturing gathered at Riviera’s Maritime Air Pollution, Europe virtual conference discussed scrubber performance, financial viability, and future opportunities. 

Excerpts from a report by Jamey Bergman, published on 10/26 by Riviera. 

“With an estimated 4,500 scrubbers either installed or set for installation by 2023, the percentage of the global commercial maritime fleet who are opting for exhaust gas cleaning emissions abatement technology is not insignificant.

“However, EGCS, or scrubbers, have faced significant headwinds in the last 12 months. The extensive price spread between low sulphur fuels and traditional heavy fuel oil (HFO) that followed IMO’s global cap on sulphur in marine fuel narrowed sharply with the dual impacts of an oil price war and the ongoing pandemic. And multiple ports and countries have banned the use of wet, open-loop scrubbers by banning the discharge of scrubber wash water in coastal waters.”


“The European Union and others have submitted their concerns about the environmental impacts of open-loop scrubber systems’ wash water discharge to IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for consideration. At its meeting in May 2019, IMO’s MEPC backed an EU proposal to “evaluate and harmonise the development of rules and guidance on the discharge of liquid effluents from exhaust gas cleaning systems, including conditions and areas”.

“The committee agreed that the proposal will be developed further in IMO’s pollution prevention and response (PPR) technical subcommittee.”


“CR Ocean Engineering process engineer Asad Vora offered a manufacturer’s position on open-loop scrubber use, saying ‘Since many ports have started banning the open-loop water discharge, although we are of the firm opinion that further research will pave the way for lifting these bans as soon as possible, hybrid may be best suited for ships sailing predominantly in these waters.’”


“Ultimately, asked to predict the longevity of the scrubber market based on an anticipation that the fuel price spread between LSFOs and HFO will increase in the near-term, the panellists all felt the financial calculation for scrubber installations would hold for several years.

“Even at the current price spread, payback times are between two and two and a half years, they said. Despite the myriad variables, the scrubber installation market remains strong in the near term and has an even longer horizon on newbuilding projects.”