The new 86,000-ton cruise ship Carnival Spirit will be fitted with the cruise industry’s first smokeless diesel engines from Wärtsilä. The Carnival Spirit is currently under construction at Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc and is expected to enter service in late spring 2001. Initially, two of the ship’s six Wärtsilä 9L46D engines will be modified with the new “smokeless” engine technology. The new modified engines represent the culmination of a year-long project between Carnival and Wärtsilä to develop a new “earth-friendly” power system, dubbed project EnviroEngine.
The modified engines, part of a diesel-electric propulsion system, represent one of the most environmentally friendly power plants ever made available for cruise ships, exceeding the international standards for emissions set out in MARPOL Annex VI.The two Wärtsilä 46 EnviroEngines use a common rail fuel injection system which enables injection pressures to be kept sufficiently high at all engine speeds – even at the lowest levels – to ensure clean combustion with no visible smoke emissions. The EnviroEngines will be particularly beneficial for use in port, as they produce no visible emissions even when lightly loaded for producing energy for lighting, air conditioning and other hotel systems.This new design is expected to be used for other vessels currently under construction, including 86,000-ton ships by Carnival Cruise Lines and for sister companies Holland America and Costa. Existing ships can be refitted by replacing the current fuel injection pumps with common rail components.