The Scrubber & Port Facilities scenario outlines a path towards cleaner and more environmentally friendly maritime operations, highlighting the central role of scrubber technologies and optimized port facilities. This transformation requires a multifaceted approach, combining technological innovation, regulatory compliance, collaboration, and investments in sustainable practices for a more environmentally responsible maritime sector. We begin with ships adhering to strict environmental standards and explore the potential of scrubbers as a solution. Key issues affecting the adoption of this solution include trends in renewable energy adoption, waste management, collaboration, and specific port emission regulations. To achieve greener maritime operations through scrubber tech and optimized ports, several assets are needed: advanced technology, robust regulations, collaboration, capacity building, infrastructure, efficient processes, and financial support.





An Exclusive Interview with Euroshore

Enhancing Waste Management in Ports: Euroshore’s Role in Promoting Sustainable Solutions

Delve into the world of sustainable port waste management with Euroshore, an esteemed organization established in 1998, boasting 36 members operating in 18 countries. Euroshore is dedicated to developing innovative strategies within the zero-waste circular economy framework. Are you aware of their efforts to promote the use of port reception facilities, facilitate efficient and environmentally responsible ship waste disposal, and advocate for international policies, procedures, and competence standards? Explore our exclusive interview for a profound understanding of Euroshore’s substantial contributions to sustainable maritime waste management.
Categories target stakeholder:
•Companies active in maritime waste management.
•Possible involvement of port authorities, government agencies, environmental organizations and international institutions.
Unlocking Insights and Learning Opportunities
In this section, we offer a wide range of educational resources and innovative tools. In addition to using the payback period simulation tool, we invite you to stay updated on our upcoming courses. Our next initiative is a course divided into various tasks, focused on the Mediterranean region and aimed at providing an in-depth perspective on Scrubber & Ports Facilities. Whether you are a industry professional or an enthusiast looking to learn more, our Knowledge Sharing Section is here to enrich your understanding and foster professional growth.
The “Best Practices” for scrubbers (emission abatement systems) and port facilities can vary depending on the specific regulatory, environmental, and operational needs of each region and port. However, there are some general guidelines that can be considered as “Best Practices” for both:

For Scrubbers (Emission Abatement Systems):

  1. Regular Maintenance: Conduct regular maintenance of scrubbers to ensure their proper functioning and maximum efficiency. This includes cleaning components, replacing worn-out parts, and monitoring performance.
  2. Personnel Training: Provide adequate training to operators and technical staff managing scrubbers to ensure safe and efficient operation.
  3. Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that scrubbers comply with local and international environmental regulations regarding pollutant emissions.
  4. Emission Monitoring: Implement emission monitoring systems to periodically verify that scrubbers are effectively reducing pollutant emissions.
  5. Compliance Reports: Maintain accurate records of operations and emission data to demonstrate regulatory compliance.
  6. Residue Management: Develop procedures for the proper management and disposal of residues generated by scrubbers, such as acid sludges and washwater.

For Port Facilities :

  1. Energy Efficiency: Implement measures to improve the energy efficiency of port facilities, including low-energy lighting systems and optimized cooling systems.
  2. Management of Maritime Waste: Provide adequate facilities for the collection and disposal of maritime waste in compliance with current regulations.
  3. Wastewater Treatment: Monitor and treat wastewater from vessels to meet environmental regulations.
  4. Safety: Implement rigorous safety measures to prevent accidents, injuries, and pollution in the port.
  5. Collaboration with Authorities: Collaborate closely with port authorities and government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance and the adoption of best practices.
  6. Clean Technologies: Explore the adoption of cleaner technologies, such as shore power systems, to reduce emissions from moored vessel engines.
  7. Environmental Conservation: Promote environmental conservation and sustainable resource management in the surrounding area.


Ports and Seaway


  • Analyze the impact of ship traffic from vessels equipped with scrubbers in terms of their influence on marine ecosystems and native or non-native living species in the maritime areas associated with ports.

The aquatic ecosystem represents a crucial component of the marine environment and is directly influenced by the activities of both scrubber-equipped and non-scrubber-equipped ships, as well as port operations. The installation of scrubbers on board ships, designed to reduce the emissions of polluting gases, has raised increasing concerns regarding their impacts on the surrounding aquatic ecosystems. This concern is particularly pronounced in Ports and Seaway areas, which are often located near coastal communities and sensitive marine habitats.

In the context of Ports and Seaway, the interaction between ships with scrubbers and aquatic ecosystems can lead to a range of environmental impacts, including the release of chemicals into the water, alterations to oceanic conditions, and influence on local marine species. These impacts can vary significantly depending on the scrubber technology and mitigation measures implemented in the ports.

An example of a project addressing these issues is ERMERGE, a research initiative under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. This project aims to assess the impact of scrubber systems on coastal waters and develop sustainable mitigation strategies. Involving experts, researchers, and policymakers in the ERMERGE project is essential for developing innovative solutions and reducing the negative impact on the communities of aquatic ecosystems. For more information, please refer to the documentation in the dedicated section, and if you’re curious to learn more, check out the Mediterranean biodiversity scenario.

Report on scrubber water whole effluent toxicity testing, at different geographical regions

Results of ecotoxicological experiments carried out on authentic scrubber waters collected in case studies and using species and life stages of species found in the water column directly affected by the discharged water and representative for each case study area such as algae zooplankton oyster larvae blue mussel larvae and other marine species using an array of endpoints eg fertilization larval development metabolism growth inhibition and mortality

Hassellöv, I. (2022). “Scrubber Technology: Bad News for the Marine Environment“. In Regulation of Risk. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill | Nijhoff.

Thor, P., Granberg, M. E., Winnes, H., & Magnusson, K. (2021). Severe Toxic Effects on Pelagic Copepods from Maritime Exhaust Gas Scrubber Effluents. Environmental science & technology, 55(9), 5826-5835.

Maljutenko, I., Hassellöv, I. M., Eriksson, M., Ytreberg, E., Yngsell, D., Johansson, L., Jalkanen, J. P., Kouts., M., Kasemtes, M.-L., Moldanova, J., Magnusson, K., & Raudsepp, U. (2021). Modelling spatial dispersion of contaminants from shipping lanes in the Baltic Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 173, 112985.


Ports and Seaway | Terminals | Shipyards


  • Minimize pollution from noise disturbances, dust dispersion, odors, and lighting for residents near port facilities.

The term “Local Impacts” refers to the environmental effects that ships equipped with scrubbers and their associated port facilities can have on communities located in proximity to a port.

These impacts can vary between Ports and Seaway, Terminals, and Shipyards based on their specific characteristics and activities. For instance, in Ports and Seaway, one might observe impacts related to air and water pollution, while in Terminals, issues related to traffic and logistics could emerge. In Shipyards, impacts might pertain to the installation and maintenance of scrubbers on ships, involving direct impacts not only on the working conditions and health of workers but also on the local economy. The nature and extent of these impacts can vary significantly depending on the geographical location and the size of the facilities involved.

Although the use of innovative equipment and the implementation of technologies and best management practices have significantly reduced the amount of noise, dust, odors, and light resulting from port activities, there is still a need to encourage port operators to integrate existing resources and develop new initiatives to measurably reduce the operational impact on the community at large, particularly on residents in the surrounding areas.

Maintaining open and effective lines of communication between the public and ports to promptly identify and address potential or existing issues is another key aspect of success in this field. Communication criteria promote cooperation and trust between ports and their neighbors.

Geels, C., Winther, M., Andersson, C., Jalkanen, J. P., Brandt, J., Frohn, L. M., Leung, W., & Christensen, J. H. (2021). Projections of shipping emissions and the related impact on air pollution and human health in the Nordic region. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 21, 12495–12519.

Kiihamäki, S.P., Korhonen, M., & Jaakkola, J.J.K. (2021). Ambient particulate air pollution and daily stock market returns and volatility in 47 cities worldwide. Sci Rep,  11, 8628,

Kukkonen, J., E. Fridell, J. Moldanova, J.-P. Jalkanen, A. Maragkidou, M. Sofiev, L. Ntziachristos, J. Borken-Kleefeld, R.S. Sokhi, V. Zervakis, I.-M. Hassellöv, E. Ytreberg, I. Williams, L. R. Hole,  M. Petrovic, S. Maragkidou, A. Ktoris, & A. Monteiro. (2020). Environmental impacts of shipping: from global to local scales. in: Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Air Quality, Science and Application; Moussiopoulos N., Sokhi R.S., Tsegas G., Fragkou E., Chourdakis E., Pipilis I. (Eds.), Hatfield, U.K., p.161, DOI: 10.18745/PB. 22217, 2020.

Shipping emissions contribution to port and neighbouring urban areas

Shipping emissions contribution to port and neighbouring urban areas Results of high resolution air quality modelling in port areas and quantification of air pollution in urban areas

Final Report Summary – DEECON (Innovative After-Treatment System for Marine Diesel Engine Emission Control)


Ports and Seaway | Terminals | Shipyards


Fostering robust relationships between the port and the city is essential for a multitude of reasons including sharing information, regulation adherence, and involving citizens in environmental decision-making. Here’s a breakdown of these aspects:

  1. Information Sharing:
    • Promotes Transparency: Sharing information between the port and city authorities enhances transparency. It provides insights into port operations, traffic, and other relevant activities, which is crucial for planning and managing urban and maritime resources efficiently.
    • Increased Awareness: It fosters a better understanding among city residents about the port’s operations, economic contributions, and challenges. This could help in garnering public support for port development projects and policies.
    • Improved Coordination: Information sharing facilitates better coordination between various stakeholders including city planners, regulatory bodies, and the port authority, which is essential for managing complex urban-port interfaces.
  1. Regulation Adherence:
    • Compliance Assurance: Collaborating with local city authorities ensures that port operations comply with regional, national, and international regulations, which can range from safety standards to environmental regulations.
    • Enhanced Safety and Security: By working together on regulatory compliance, ports and cities can develop and enforce safety and security measures that protect both port assets and the surrounding community.
  1. Citizen Involvement in Environmental Decisions:
    • Community Engagement: Engaging the local community in environmental decisions promotes a sense of ownership and accountability. It also builds trust and fosters a positive relationship between the port, city authorities, and the citizens.
    • Informed Decision-making: When citizens are involved in environmental decisions, it brings diverse perspectives and local knowledge to the table, which can lead to more informed and sustainable decision-making.
    • Enhanced Environmental Stewardship: Citizen involvement can also promote environmental stewardship, encouraging both individual and collective actions to mitigate the environmental impacts of port operations.
  1. Overall Benefits:
    • Economic Growth: Strong port-city relationships can lead to economic growth by attracting investments, facilitating trade, and creating job opportunities.
    • Sustainable Development: It paves the way for sustainable development by ensuring that port expansion and urban development are balanced with environmental conservation and social inclusivity.

Building a constructive port-to-city relationship is a multifaceted approach that can significantly contribute to creating a harmonious and prosperous urban-maritime nexus. Through mutual understanding, effective communication, and collaborative efforts, both the port and the city can thrive and navigate the complexities of modern urban and maritime environments.


Ship owners | Ports and Seaway | Terminals | Shipyards


  • Improve the management of waste generated by ships, including those equipped with scrubbers, in port facilities to reduce pollution and promote sustainability. This goal aims to develop innovative approaches for the treatment and disposal of port waste, with the ultimate vision of achieving “zero waste.” Such an initiative will benefit Ship owners, Ports and Seaway, Terminals, and Shipyards, while ensuring compliance with international, national, and local regulations.


Waste management in ports is a complex issue, involving various sources of waste, including logistics, tourism, and traditional port activities. This system generates significant volumes of various types of waste, often not easily categorized into common categories. Managing waste from ship exhaust gas cleaning systems, known as scrubbers, designed to reduce polluting emissions, presents an additional challenge.

To ensure sustainable port waste management, port operators are encouraged to develop innovative approaches that aim for a “zero waste” vision. In this context, the GRRinPORT project (“Sustainable Management of Waste and Effluents in Ports”) and the ESPO Green Guide play a key role in regulating and promoting sustainable practices.

Port waste management requires source separation, proper disposal, and continuous monitoring. In particular, liquid waste generated by scrubbers, including washwater and sludges, must be classified in accordance with the European Waste Code (CER), taking into account their level of hazardousness. However, sludges containing sodium sulfate, resulting from pH neutralization with sodium hydroxide in the scrubbing process, are not considered hazardous.

Port waste management is subject to regulations and standards established by international, national, and local authorities. These include:

Regarding solid waste generated by scrubbers, most waste is of a liquid nature, but some types of scrubbers can generate solid waste, such as separator filters or “washing towers.” The management of these solid wastes requires segregation and valorization of components, promoting the circular economy and sustainability.

In addition to treatment and disposal regulations, reporting requirements are provided, including data on the quantity of waste, treatment methods, and disposal destinations. This comprehensive approach aims to promote more sustainable and environmentally friendly port waste management, while ensuring:

For Ship owners: Reduction of waste generated on board the ship and increased recycling.

Ports and Seaway, Terminals, and Shipyards: Reduction of waste resulting from administrative activities and on-site operations and an increase in recycling strategies.

Additional Information:

  • Consult the interview with Euroshore.


Ship owners | Ports and Seaway | Terminals | Shipyards


  • Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutant emissions to mitigate climate change and promote greater sustainability throughout the maritime supply chain, while ensuring economic and operational benefits for Ship owners, Ports and Seaway, Terminals, and Shipyards.

The maritime industry is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally, significantly contributing to climate change. Vessels, especially conventional ones powered by fossil fuels (e.g., HFO), emit a significant amount of CO2, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur (SOx), as well as other harmful air pollutants. Port facilities and shipyards are also involved in this emission cycle, being key points in vessel maintenance and supply. The international community (IMO) has responded with stringent regulations to reduce these emissions and a timeline of goals to progressively increase these restrictions over time.

The need to adapt to address greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime industry is urgent and requires an integrated approach involving all stakeholders. Reductions in CO2 and air pollutant emissions can be achieved through various strategies, including the adoption of cleaner propulsion technologies, improving vessel energy efficiency, promoting alternative fuels, and controlling emissions through scrubbers combined with clean fuels.

The implications of this objective are multifaceted:

• Ship owners: They are obligated to comply with environmental regulations, but the choice between retrofitting and investing in alternative solutions directly impacts operational costs and competitiveness.

• Ports and Seaway: They must balance economic growth with a commitment to a cleaner environment, addressing the need for sustainable infrastructure and ensuring access to vital trade routes. In this regard, they will see improvements in local air quality, reducing the impact on public health, and can attract more sustainable vessel traffic.

• Terminals: They benefit from sustainable port facilities through more efficient operations and reduced costs but must adapt to new requirements.

• Shipyards: They will need to adapt to building more sustainable vessels, creating new market opportunities and contributing to the development of advanced maritime technologies.


Ship owners | Ports and Seaway


  • Examining the environmental impact of discharges from ships equipped with and without scrubbers in port facilities, considering regulatory aspects, in order to promote the sustainability of port operations and the protection of marine ecosystems, with particular attention to implications for ship owners.


The realm of ship emissions and discharges is a topic of growing significance in the context of port operations. This issue directly involves ships, their owners (ship owners), and port facilities. In particular, ships equipped with scrubbers have been introduced as a solution to reduce atmospheric pollutant emissions, but this raises significant questions about the environmental consequences of their discharges into marine waters.

Scrubber-equipped ships are designed to reduce atmospheric emissions, but these devices can generate washwater discharges containing pollutants, such as sulfates and heavy metals. These discharges can have a direct impact on the surrounding marine ecosystems, causing potential pollution and water contamination issues.

On the other hand, ships without scrubbers can contribute to atmospheric pollution, with potential implications for human health and the surrounding environment.

Understanding the impact of these discharges is essential for port facilities, which must address challenges related to managing and monitoring ship emissions in port, as well as for ship owners, who must balance operational needs with growing environmental and regulatory concerns.

To delve further into this topic, please refer to the “Documents” section where additional resources are available, providing a detailed view of regulatory aspects, restrictions/bans, and reports and studies on analyses of discharges from scrubber-equipped ships.

Useful link :

Study report on analyses of water samples from exhaust gas cleaning systems :

NB: First – and only – scrubbers discharge criteria was established (2008)

All scrubber discharge samples from the measurement campaign are contaminated with pollutants.
Source: Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH)

Scarico a circuito aperto di EGCS globale nelle diverse regioni marine durante il 2020. Le dimensioni del cerchio sono proporzionali al volume dello scarico. Le definizioni delle regioni marine seguono quelle dell’IHO.


Ship owners


  • Significant reduction of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in the maritime industry and Mediterranean ports to mitigate environmental impact, ensure compliance with European and international environmental regulations, and promote more sustainable maritime transport solutions.


Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions represent a major environmental concern in the maritime industry. Both scrubber-equipped and non-scrubber-equipped vessels have a significant influence on air pollution, especially in highly trafficked port areas such as the Mediterranean. Addressing this issue involves extensive efforts by port authorities, regulatory bodies, maritime operators, and ship owners to reduce the impact of NOx emissions.

Context of NOx Emissions:

  1. Ships with Scrubbers: Marine scrubbers are exhaust gas cleaning devices that reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions while ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. However, their impact on reducing NOx emissions is negligible unless integrated systems such as SCR or specific EGR are associated with the type of scrubber.
  2. Ships Without Scrubbers: Vessels not equipped with scrubbers emit significant quantities of pollutants, including NOx. These emissions contribute to air pollution in ports, challenging compliance with environmental regulations.
  3. Impact on Port Facilities: The impacts of NOx emissions extend to port facilities. Air pollution caused by ships can have direct consequences for human health and the environment, requiring significant efforts to ensure adequate air quality in ports.

Ship Owners’ Perspective:

Shipowners and vessel owners face a complex choice between maintaining operational costs and reducing NOx emissions. Here are some ways:

  1. Adoption of scrubbers with integrated systems to reduce NOx. This choice is often determined by the immediate economic advantages of gaining access to multiple ports.
  2. Adoption of environmentally low-impact fuels through a switch (e.g., LNG).
  3. Adoption of new propulsion methods or engine changes to support green energy projects.

For any choice, a Cost-Benefit Analysis should be carefully conducted, considering factors such as availability, expectations, and the type of influence (costs, governance, etc.) associated with investment decisions.

Further information:

Please refer to Regulation 13 of Marpol Annex VI.

EMERGE Project: Summary and analysis of available abatement methods for SOx, NOx and PM, together with data on emissions, waste streams, costs and applicability

This deliverable belongs to Task 11 The report will review the existing knowledge on abatement measures for ship exhaust Further gaps in knowledge will be identified and reported to WP2 and 3


Ship owners


  • To reduce pollutant air emissions of sulphur oxides and particulate matter.

Regulatory and legal aspects are fundamental in the goal of reducing emissions of hydrogen sulfide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) in the maritime sector. European and international environmental regulations impose increasingly stringent restrictions on ship emissions, aiming for more sustainable navigation. In this context, marine scrubbers and port facilities play an essential role in facilitating the achievement of these objectives.

Marine scrubbers, which enable exhaust gas cleaning, appear as a promising solution to reduce SOx and PM emissions. The ability to install scrubbers on all existing vessels makes them a practical and effective option. On the other hand, port facilities that support ships with scrubbers provide ship owners with the opportunity to comply with current regulations, allowing them access to major ports.

Despite scrubbers being an effective solution for SOx and PM, challenges related to greenhouse gas emissions remain. Therefore, in the long term, the maritime sector must continue to develop more sustainable technologies for fully decarbonized navigation.

It is essential for regulatory authorities to outline specific directives for fuels used in open waters and in ports, promoting the adoption of alternative fuels such as LNG and implementing emissions monitoring systems in ports. These actions will help create a healthier environment, reducing SOx and PM emissions, and promoting more sustainable maritime navigation.

Collaborative efforts among ship owners, port authorities, regulators, and other stakeholders are essential to transform today’s challenges into opportunities to build a more sustainable and environmentally friendly maritime sector.

Note: Please refer to Marpol Annex VI Regulation 14.

Useful link:

EMERGE Project: Summary and analysis of available abatement methods for SOx, NOx and PM, together with data on emissions, waste streams, costs and applicability

This deliverable belongs to Task 11 The report will review the existing knowledge on abatement measures for ship exhaust Further gaps in knowledge will be identified and reported to WP2 and 3

Strategic agenda/workplan