Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Carnival Cruises reaches pact to curb cruise ship air pollution in U.S. and Canada

Photo: Carnival
The Carnival Corporation has received the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada to implement a significant advancement in environmental technology designed to reduce air emissions from cruise ships and large marine vessels.

As part of today's announcement, Carnival has committed over $180 million for exhaust gas cleaning technology on 32 ships. These 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.

This new generation of so-called "scrubber technology" combines the removal of sulfur with the substantial reduction of particulate matter and black carbon. Once the exhaust gas cleaning technology is installed and fully operational on the various Carnival subsidiary ships, they will exceed ECA standards. The International Maritime Organization's MARPOL Annex VI places a cap on sulfur within ECAs at 1.0%, which took effect in North America in 2012. In 2015, the limit will be 0.1%.

Carnival's design combines two established technologies, which have been successfully used in power plants, factories and vehicles to clean - or scrub - the exhaust from high-sulfur fuel. For the first time this combination is being developed to accommodate restricted spaces on existing ships.

In addition to exceeding stricter air emission standards, Carnival's technology will help the company mitigate escalating fuel costs. The agreement in principle from the EPA and Coast Guard would enable an exemption for Carnival to use the fuel source that makes the most sense from an environmental and economic perspective. The agreement in principle is a requirement for the flag states of each Carnival subsidiary to grant permission for implementation.


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