To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (b) Marine Management Organisation and (c) Maritime and Coastguard Agency on assessing and mitigating the risks that scrubber technology poses to UK waters and coastlines.
Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS), or ’scrubbers’ as they are commonly known, are an internationally recognised technology which ships can use to comply with sulphur limits, providing an alternative to using low sulphur marine fuel. The systems are subject to controls at an international level through the adopted International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines, which are mandatory.
The Guidelines ensure sulphur dioxide emissions from scrubbers are equivalent or better than would be obtained from using compliant fuel. They also address water quality and environmental impacts, in order to mitigate risks to the marine environment.
The Department and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, played an active role in the development of the Guidelines at both European and international level with input from the Marine Management Organisation, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, system manufacturers, as well as approval organisations and industry stakeholders.
Ships’ installed scrubbers must be approved in accordance with the Guidelines before operating in UK waters.