RCCL to reduce emissions from 19 ships

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) will retrofit 19 of its ships with exhaust scrubbers, which the cruise company says will remove more than 97% of the sulfur dioxide emissions generated by the ships' diesel engines. 

RCCL said that the move will position it “ahead of all forthcoming International Maritime Organization Emission Control Area emissions standards, and will ensure compliance with existing European Union standards.”

Beginning in January, installation will take place on 13 Royal Caribbean International ships and six Celebrity Cruises ships, during scheduled drydocks and while ships are in service.

Preliminary work has begun on several of the ships, RCCL said, but most work will take place between 2015 and 2017. Each installation will take approximately eight months.

Two ships that entered into service this year, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 3, had scrubbers installed during initial construction. Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas has been operating one of its six engines with a retrofitted scrubber system for two years.

Royal Caribbean said the system "scrubs" exhaust gases by injecting a high volume of water spray into the exhaust stream.

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