Islamabad - Pakistan has prohibited the use of open-loop scrubbers by ships in its waters, the latest country to tighten restrictions on the use of the cleaning devices which strip sulfur from marine fuel and empty the residue in the sea, a regulatory note showed.
Since the start of this year, United Nations shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has banned ships from using fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5%, compared with 3.5% previously, in the biggest shake up for the oil and shipping industries in decades.
The regulations are aimed at improving human health by reducing air pollution.
Only ships fitted with sulfur-cleaning devices known as scrubbers will be allowed to continue burning high-sulfur fuel. Ship owners can also opt for other sources of cleaner fuel such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
But some ports have banned one type of scrubber, the open-loop version which empties washwater residues into the sea, which has added to unexpected costs for shipping companies that have bought the devices at a cost of over $1 million each.