Engineering for a sustainable future with selective catalytic reactors

A comprehensive engineering project led by TecnoVeritas has ensured that Mystic Cruises’ Vasco de Gama could continue to meet emissions standards for years to come

Engineering for a sustainable future with selective catalytic reactors
The BOEM cloud platform remotely monitors Vasco de Gama’s emissions

When shipowner Mystic Cruises acquired 27-year-old cruise ship Vasco de Gama and decided to keep her in service in destinations such as the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic Sea, it faced a significant challenge. The regions follow some of the most stringent air pollution regulations in the world, which will soon become stricter with the introduction of the MARPOL convention.  

Consequently, the operator partnered with engineering services company TecnoVeritas to study how the vessel could continue to comply with regulations for the next 10 to 15 years. The project began in January 2021 with a scan of the engine room and a study of potential access points for large components into the ship. Calculations on the engine’s exhaust gas flow rates were run in parallel.  

Five selective catalytic reactors (SCR) were installed onboard, specifically designed to reduce the ship’s nitrogen oxide emissions while keeping exhaust gas pressure drops to a minimum. The operation of each SCR is controlled by artificial intelligence, which constantly optimises their individual performance to minimise the consumption of urea and comply with future ammonia slip regulations. The stability calculations for the five housings and urea bunker tank were also completed, while new bunkering stations and TecnoVeritas’ cloud-based BOEM (Blue Overall Energy Management) platform for performance monitoring were installed. 

The systems and the project were surveyed and approved by Lloyd’s Register and emissions were tested by ECOxy from Norway for the Norwegian Maritime Authority. It was found that fuel efficiency had been increased by six per cent, resulting in a similar reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Nitrogen oxide emissions had also been cut by 82 per cent, while sulphur dioxide emissions had fallen by 81.5 per cent.  

A consortium formed by TecnoVeritas and Lisnave Shipyards is now offering similar turnkey solutions, including vessel digitalisation and energy optimisation, to help extend the profitable operation life of other existing vessels.

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.  

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
23 December 2021

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