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Netherlands moves to implement ban on degassing of tankers

Christian Fernsby |
The Netherlands will soon disallow tankers to remove vapours from their holds while in transit.

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After unloading their liquid cargo, tankers need to be able to remove the remaining vapours from their hold, a procedure known as degassing, often done while the ship is still in transit.

During degassing, the vapours that have remained in a tanker’s hold are removed, after which the vessel can then take in new cargo.

The Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has made EUR250,000 ($295,000) available for trials with mobile degassing systems.

“It is important to me that we quickly arrange good alternatives to releasing vapours while en route,” said Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen, who visited Rotterdam’s Seinehaven on Monday to attend a trial with a mobile degassing system.

“The existing procedure creates health risks for crews and local residents and is hazardous to the environment. We need to quickly determine the best alternative to this practice, and these tests will help,” she added.

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