Carnival, a Miami-based cruise ship company, has signed a deal with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce air pollution caused by its fleet of cruise ships off North American coasts.
Carnival will invest over $180m in a new technology to clean the fuel exhaust on around a third of its cruise ships to meet the air pollution standards set by the International Maritime Organization, which will come into effect from 2015.
According to the new standards, all oceangoing vessels should start using lower-sulphur fuel when they are within 200 miles of Canada and the US.
To meet the standards, Carnival plans to install emission controls on some of its ships that regularly move along coastal waters.
EPA, along with the US Coast Guard and Transport Canada, will support Carnival to develop and install dual filtration and scrubbing devices on 32 cruise ships from brands such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and two Cunard Line ships.
Carnival public affairs vice president Tom Dow said the company’s fast-paced plan of installing more than 100 devices between 2014 and 2016 is meant to show the approach is commercially viable.
According to EPA, if shipping companies comply with the emission control standards, the amount of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides in the air can be reduced by 320,000 and 920,000 tons, respectively, by 2020.