Interlake Steamship is set to equip two of its ships with the DuPont Marine freshwater scrubbers from Belco Technologies early next year.

The decision to install its M/V Lee A. Tregurtha and M/V James R. Barker with the scrubber systems is part of the company’s plans to expand its emission-reduction efforts to one-third of its fleet.

Interlake Steamship became the US-flag fleet to test freshwater scrubbers on the Great Lakes after it equipped its self-unloading bulk carrier, M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar, with a similar solution.

"This important effort benefits the environment that we all live, work and play in, and has a positive impact on the health of the Great Lakes for the long term"

Interlake president Mark Barker said: "This technology allows us to achieve our goal of continually shrinking our fleet’s environmental footprint while dependably, safely and efficiently delivering raw materials to our steel, construction and power generation customers throughout the Great Lakes.

"We have proven the technology on our 800ft traditional Laker and now we’re ready to scale up to our 1,000ft class ships with our first installation on the James R. Barker."

The scrubber units will enable the vessel to reduce sulphur and particulate matter from its stack emissions.

"The sulphur reductions have exceeded our expectations.

"This important effort benefits the environment that we all live, work and play in, and has a positive impact on the health of the Great Lakes for the long term," Barker added.

The installation of the scrubber system will be carried out by Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Interlake is currently planning to equip two additional 1,000ft container vessels, the M/V Paul R. Tregurtha and M/V, with similar solutions by 2017.