SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Coast Guard have reached an agreement in principle with Carnival Corporation to develop advanced emission control technology to be used in waters surrounding U.S. coasts.
Under the agreement, Carnival will develop and deploy a new exhaust gas cleaning system on up to 32 cruise ships over the next three years.
Carnival will ask the flag states of those ships to exempt them from the fuel sulfur requirements of the North American and Caribbean Emission Control Areas (ECA's)under Regulation 3.2 of MARPOL Annex VI. The Coast Guard and EPA say Carnival's proposed program meets the spirit of a trial program for ship emission reduction and control technology research, as outlined Regulation 3.2.
"These new controls combine the use of sulfur oxide (SOx) scrubbers with diesel particulate filters - thus combining technologies well known in the power plant and automotive sectors, but not previously used together on a marine vessel," says EPA.
The agency says the technological advances spurred by these programs will provide an opportunity for ECA compliance at a significant (50 percent or greater) reduction in cost and may yield emission reductions beyond those required by current requirements. The advanced technology can also provide additional benefits in the reduction of particulate matter and black carbon.
Carnival will install sufficient exhaust gas cleaning capacity on each of the ships to meet or exceed the 2015 ECA fuel sulfur requirements. Additionally, these exhaust gas cleaning systems will be installed during vessel drydocks on the following schedule: 9 ships in 2014, 16 ships in 2015, and 7 ships in the first half of
Once installed, the exhaust gas cleaning systems will be employed while the ship is operating in the ECA. Carnival will also limit the sulfur content of heavy fuel oil used in these ships and intends to use shore power, or marine gas oil with a fuel sulfur content no greater than 0.1 percent, for each ship while at berth.
Carnival says it has committed over $180 million for installing exhaust gas cleaning technology on the 32 ships which include vessels from Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Cunard that sail regularly within the North American Emission Control Area (ECA).
"This is a significant accomplishment as well as an important milestone for our company," said Carnival Corporation & plc CEO Arnold Donald. "Working together with the EPA, U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada, we have developed a breakthrough solution for cleaner air that will set a new course in environmental protection for years to come."
Carnival has been a partner in the development of this technology and will take the lead in further refining both design and installation aspects on ships with a variety of engine configurations between now and mid-2016.
Carnivaal says a new generation of so-called "scrubber technology" combines the removal of sulfur with the substantial reduction of particulate matter and black carbon. It adds that its design combines two established technologies that have been successfully used in power plants, factories and vehicles and has developed them to accommodate restricted spaces on existing ships.
Looking ahead, Carnival plans to explore the possibility of expanding the installation of its scrubber technology beyond the initial 32 ships.
More details of the agreement with EPA and USCG HERE