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A ban on emissions from ship scrubbers in Swedish waters is proposed in a memorandum

Emissions from scrubbers that wash flue gases on ships may be banned in Swedish maritime territory. A memorandum with such a proposal is now being forwarded.

- Reducing emissions into the air by moving pollution to the sea is not a sustainable solution. Therefore, a proposal is now being submitted to ban the scrubbers' discharge into the water. Most Swedish shipowners have already chosen to run on fuel with such a low sulphur content that they stay within the emission requirements without scrubbing. Now we want it to apply to all ships in Swedish maritime territory, says Infrastructure and Housing Minister Andreas Carlson.

- Emissions from ship scrubbers are - even in very low concentrations - harmful to the marine environment. The use of scrubbers also increases total fuel consumption by around 2-3 percent, which also increases carbon dioxide emissions. When the government now forwards the proposal to ban emissions from scrubbers, an important step is taken both for a better marine environment and for the climate, says Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari.

Scrubbers are cleaning equipment installed on ships to clean the ship's flue gases, so that what is released into the air contains relatively low levels of sulphur. Scrubbers with open systems then empty the washing water with all the impurities that have been washed out of the flue gas into the sea. Even scrubbers with closed systems produce drain water with hazardous substances that can be released into the water.

The use of scrubbers has increased since the requirements were tightened on the sulphur content that is permitted in the fuel. This has meant that the emissions of sulphur to the air have decreased, but that the emissions to the water have increased.

Within the EU there is no uniform legislation that prohibits discharges from scrubbers, but many countries and ports have on their own initiative prohibited the discharge of scrubber water into certain parts of national waters. There has so far been no national ban in Sweden, but some Swedish ports have already banned the emissions.

The proposal that is now being submitted means that discharges from open ship scrubbers into water are prohibited in Swedish maritime territory from and including 1 July 2025. Discharges from all scrubbers into water are prohibited in Swedish maritime territory from and including 1 January 2029.

Jun 28 2024

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