ECA Tracking – Onboard Support For Vessel Emission Control Areas

Onboard weather routing software provides Emission Control Areas (ECAs) and calculation tools for ships to evaluate the most cost effective voyage track.

Using the latest version of AWT’s BonVoyage System, captains manage their voyage track by displaying ECA zones and making them “no-go” areas. By doing this, they can see their voyage track outside and inside the ECA zones. Simply moving waypoints in BVS allows captains to visualize the impact of time in the ECA zone and compare it to the overall effect of time en route. The result is that the captain has the information to sail the optimal route.

“With BVS’s ECA zone calculation tools, captains can make informed decisions about how much time to sail inside or outside these zones,” said Rich Brown, vice president of product management, AWT. “Our goal is to give captains and ship operators the data they need to manage voyage costs while complying with IMO regulations.”

On August 1, 2012, North America Emissions Control Area (ECA) zones become enforceable. The regulation is part of Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention titled “Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships”.  The regulation dictates that the ECA Zones extend up to 200 nautical miles (NM) from coasts of the United States and Canada, including a portion of the Hawaiian Islands. In the ECA Zones, ships are required to burn fuel with sulfur content not exceeding 1.00%.  Notable exceptions to this area are the Aleutian Islands and Arctic waters of North America.