Singapore to ban 'wash water' discharge at top ship refuelling port from 2020

* Singapore to enforce ban on open-loop scrubbers from Jan 2020

* Ban part of preparations for IMO 2020 rules

* Move seen as setback for so-called open-loop scrubbers (Recasts, adds comments and detail)

By Roslan Khasawneh

SINGAPORE, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Singapore's Maritime Port Authority (MPA) will ban the discharge of "wash water" used in ships to scrub engine exhaust from Jan. 1, 2020, the MPA said on Friday.

The ban of so-called open-loop scrubbers is part of an effort to prepare one of the world's busiest ports for International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into force in 2020 and oblige ships to use cleaner fuels.

"To protect the marine environment and ensure that the port waters are clean, the discharge of wash water from open-loop exhaust gas scrubbers in Singapore port waters will be prohibited," said Andrew Tan, Chief Executive Officer of the MPA during an event in Singapore.

"Ships fitted with hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of operation," Tan said.

Singapore is the world's biggest hub for ship refuelling, also known as bunkering.

Tan said Singapore would provide facilities for the collection of residue generated from the operation of scrubbers.

The MPA said the ban would be enforced from Jan. 1, 2020.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR IMO 2020?

Under future IMO rules, ships will have to reduce the sulphur content in their fuel to below 0.5 percent from 2020, compared with 3.5 percent now.

To do so, shippers can switch to burning cleaner oil, s....

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