(2:17 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line will install energy-efficient scrubbing technology on two newbuild ships, the company announced July 18. The third and fourth Breakaway Class ships -- codenamed Breakaway Plus (set to launch October 2015) and Breakaway Plus II (slated for early 2017) -- each will feature five scrubbers developed by Green Tech Marine.
The scrubbers are designed to reduce sulfur emissions in cruise ships. They will allow ships to continue operating on heavy fuel, rather than the 0.1 percent sulfur limit while sailing in Emission Control Areas -- 200 nautical miles bordering the U.S. and Canadian coasts -- beginning January 1, 2015.
"Norwegian Cruise Line has a history of innovation along with a commitment to utilizing green technology whenever possible," Norwegian Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan said in a news release. "Installing scrubbers from Green Tech Marine on our new Breakaway Plus vessels is a smart decision and one that will ensure these ships are as eco-friendly as possible."
The cruise industry remains in a bind with the new regulations, as low-sulfur fuel is more expensive and harder to obtain. Some lines have added scrubber technology during refurbishments, while others have pulled ships out of homeports that require extensive sailing in the ECA zone.