Color Line Orders Wärtsilä Emissions Scrubbers

color line superspeed
Image: Color Line Superspeed, via Facebook

The Baltic region is a hot-bed of environmentally-aware shipowners at the moment as current and anticipated environmental legislation will require ships operating within the Baltic Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) to have drastically reduced emissions.  These requirements have prompted power systems manufacturers like Wärtsilä to come up with options such as LNG-powered engines and emissions scrubbers to meet these new requirements.

Wärtsilä announced today that they have been contracted by Color Line, Norway’s largest cruise and ferry operator, to retrofit its Open Loop Scrubber systems on three of their vessels including the company’s SuperSpeed I, Color Magic and Color Fantasy ships.

imo sulfur limits graph
via Wartsila

Wärtsilä notes that they have already supplied 36 ships with emissions scrubbing systems which are capable of reducing sulphur oxide emissions to an undetectable level while burning either high (3.4 %) or low sulphur (1.5 %) heavy fuel oil.

The contract announced today was signed in September 2013 and it follows a similar order placed in June 2013 to retrofit Color Line’s SuperSpeed II ferry.

“Color Line sees environmental issues as a priority and the use of Wärtsilä exhaust gas cleaning systems on another three of our vessels is a significant step towards our goals in this respect. The marine sector is obligated to operate in a more sustainable manner and we applaud Wärtsilä for its leadership in environmental performance enhancing technologies,” says Mr Jan Helge Pile, SVP Marine & Technical, Color Line Marine A/S.

Wärtsilä Open Loop Scrubber

“Wärtsilä continues to demonstrate its leadership in the delivery of innovative technologies that enable ship owners and operators to meet the dual challenges of environmental compliance and rising operating costs. Our exhaust cleaning systems are one of the increasingly important elements of this strategy, offering an efficient and cost-effective alternative to low- sulphur fuel,” says Mr Sigurd Jenssen, Director, Exhaust Gas Cleaning, Environmental Solutions, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

Read: Wärtsilä’s Sigurd Jenssen Discusses Scrubber Technology and Environmental Compliance

How the Wärtsilä Open Loop Scrubber System Works…

The system operates in an open loop using seawater to remove SOx from the exhaust. Exhaust gas enters the system and is sprayed with seawater in three different stages. The sulphur oxides in the exhaust react with the water to form sulphuric acid. Chemicals are not required since the natural alkalinity of seawater neutralizes the acid.

Wash water from the system is treated and monitored at the inlet and outlet to ensure that it conforms to all applicable discharge criteria. It can then be discharged into the sea with no risk of harm to the environment.