Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has outlined the ways in which the cruise industry was prepared to meet the IMO’s new 2020 requirements, which went into effect 1 January 2020.
The new requirements set forth by IMO 2020 lower the amount of allowable sulphur content in ship emissions from 3.5% to 0.5%.
CLIA experts Brian Salerno, senior vice president for maritime policy, and Donnie Brown, vice president for maritime policy, also elaborated on the progress that the cruise industry has made going beyond the requirements of IMO 2020 and where the industry is headed in the future.
“As part of the cruise industry’s ongoing leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship, the CLIA cruise fleet was prepared to meet or exceed the IMO’s new requirements when they went into effect on 1 January,” said Salerno. “More importantly, the industry is looking well beyond 2020 – and is committed to pursuing resources and funding to identify new fuel sources and technologies, with the ultimate goal of achieving a zero-carbon fleet.”
The cruise industry has taken three key approaches to meet the IMO’s new requirements: by using exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) technologies, LNG fuel and compliant fuel.
EGCSs process emissions from ships to almost completely remove sulphur content and significantly reduce particulate matter found in exhaust; these systems have been found by multiple studies to be safe for the marine environment when operated in open-loop mode. 68% of global capacity currently utilises EGCS, while 75% of non-LNG newbuilds will have EGCS.
LNG fuel has virtually zero sulphur emissions; currently, two ships within the CLIA ocean-going cruise fleet use LNG for primary propulsion, with 25 more that are currently under construction or on the order books.
Fuel oil with a sulphur content at or below 0.5% is used in order to curtail pollutants in engine exhaust emissions. In designated Emission Control Areas, the sulphur content is further limited to no more than 0.1%. Ships must use compliant fuel, or an approved alternative that achieves the same beneficial results.
Individual cruise lines choose which of these solutions, or a combination, works for them, however these approaches are all in line with the IMO’s new requirements.
CLIA asserts that the cruise industry was ready to meet the new requirements in advance of the 1 January 2020 deadline, and is already turning its focus to the identification and development of new technologies and clean energy sources to further reduce its environmental impact.
The cruise industry believes that a robust research and development effort is necessary to ultimately achieve the IMO’s goal of zero-carbon emissions across the maritime fleet. To support this, CLIA joined an array of partner associations in the maritime sector to put forth a proposal to the IMO to fund and establish an R&D board dedicated to working collaboratively across the sector to identify the technologies and energy sources that will enable the goal to be reached. The initiative would be funded by contributions from the industry to generate roughly US$5bn (€4.5bn) over 10 years.
CLIA members are also exploring additional opportunities to lessen their environmental impact, including the use of shoreside power, where the solution is available. About 30% of global capacity is currently equipped with shoreside power and another 88% of newbuild capacity is committed to being fitted with this technology. The industry is also exploring new reusable power solutions including fuel-cell technology, battery and wind power.