Cruise Lines Focus on Reducing Air Emissions

cruise ship

By MarEx 2016-07-28 19:42:37

Many cruise lines have already seen a rise in fuel costs due to the significant amount of time that they operate within the 0.1 percent ECA zones. These costs will only increase further when the global 0.5 percent limit for sulfur in fuel comes into force in 2020. This, along with a dedication to corporate social responsibility, is driving change across the industry.

This month, the Port of Livorno in Italy signaled its desire to establish LNG bunkering at its cruise terminal. The news follows from the fact that three cruise lines have announced plans for up to eight LNG-fuelled newbuilds.

For Livorno, the move makes sense when there is an LNG terminal just 12 miles from the port, but Hamburg has already pioneered LNG-bunkering technology in Europe. AIDAsol was bunkered from an LNG hybrid barge for the first time on May 30 when Becker Marine Systems’ barge, Hummel, provided 7.5 megawatts of low-emission power to the vessel.

Uptake of emissions control technology is accelerating and many cruise lines are boasting achievements:

Costa Cruises Cuts Carbon Footprint

Last week Costa Cruises presented the 10th edition of its Sustainability Report Sea You Tomorrow – On course for the future highlighting the main sustainability results achieved by the company in 2015.

In 2015, the company achieved:

 – three percent decrease in fuel consumption per passenger/day

 – 2.3 percent reduction in the company’s carbon footprint

 – emission reductions: 11 percent in SOx and three percent in NOx and PMs

 – installation on seven ships, equivalent to 46.6 percent of the fleet, of the ECO Exhaust Gas Cleaning system, industry-leading technology with a filtering system that can remove more than 90 percent of pollutants from the exhaust gases irrespective of the ship’s operating condition

 – 4.8 percent reduction in energy consumption

 – 100 percent of shipboard waste collected and separated for disposal and recycling

 – 69 percent of the water required was produced directly on board, which works out to a year-on-year seven percent increase.

In 2015, Costa carried out pilot projects on four ships involving high efficiency compressors and upgrade of automation programs for optimization of air conditioning systems, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in electrical load. 2015 also saw further work on the project for installation on board of the ECO Exhaust Gas Cleaning system. This system comprises a filtering system and uses seawater to remove more than 90 percent of pollutants from the exhaust gases irrespective of the ship’s operating condition – at sea, during maneuvering or in port.

Costa’s fleet enhancement strategy, based on the introduction of newer and more fuel-efficient vessels, will see the company invest in the design and building of cruise ships that will be powered by LNG.

RCCL’s Smart Ship

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) is pioneering the use of software to reduce emissions. In 2009, RCCL began working with a start-up in Finland, Eniram, to develop the energy management software that now collects real-time data from RCCL’s ships at sea, analyzes it, and provides guidance both to the bridge of each vessel and to shore. Initially used on Quantum of the Seas – one reason that vessel was billed as the world’s first “smart ship” – the software calculates the optimal choices in three operational areas.

The first is trim, properly balancing the ship so it floats evenly at its waterline, and not low at bow or stern. Then speed – to determine the most efficient operation of the vessel’s power plant. Taking into account weather forecasts and currents and the real-time operating characteristics of other vessels sailing at the same time, the system recommends how many engines the ship should use, and at what times and settings, to achieve top fuel efficiency while keeping to its itinerary. The third operational area is route optimization based on currents and wind.

Other sources of energy loads – galleys, deck facilities, staterooms – and data derived from them are being continually added to the software as it is further refined into a holistic monitor of and tool for energy efficiency. Eniram engineers are also adapting the system for display on a smartwatch.

NCL Ready for Air Lubrication

This week, Silverstream Technologies highlighted an order for its air lubrication system from Norwegian Cruise Line, saying it is advanced discussion with other cruise lines as well.

The Silverstream system produces a thin layer of micro bubbles for the full flat bottom of the vessel, reducing the frictional resistance between the water and the hull. This improves the vessel’s operational efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions.

Following the conclusion of the sea trials in 2014, Silverstream Technologies’ was awarded its first commercial contract in March 2015 for the installation of the system on three Norwegian Cruise Line vessels at the Meyer Werft ship yard in Papenburg, Germany.

Silverstream claims to use 66 percent less energy than other air lubrication systems to power the compressors which keep cavities filled with air at the required pressure. It claims comparative air lubrication systems for cruise vessels use a greater number of larger compressors and air pipes, requiring significantly more space within a vessel’s hull. 

Holland America Line’s Sixth Consecutive Award

The Port of Seattle recently presented Holland America Line (HAL) with its sixth consecutive Green Gateway Award in recognition of its environmental efforts. HAL also received the port’s Technology Innovator award for investing in its Seattle-based fleet that has resulted in year-over-year reductions in fuel use and resultant greenhouse gases. Port of Seattle also cited the cruise line's installation of IPCO Power Fuel Treatment systems that are designed to enhance combustion, lower emissions, improve fuel economy, extend engine overhaul intervals and lower overall operating costs.

IPCO’s systems include an injector that creates a stable “water in fuel” emulsion. The implementation of emulsified fuel significantly enhances fuel atomization and distribution in the combustion chamber. This results in more effective combustion, lower fuel consumption and a reduction of NOx and particulate matter emissions.

In previous years Holland America Line received the Green Gateway Award for its use of shore power, comprehensive practices to reduce emissions and its commitment to protecting the environment.



The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.