Carnival Corporation announced that it has entered into a working partnership with the Finnish engine manufacturer, Wartsila NSD, to develop a smokeless diesel-electric propulsion system for cruise ships. Code-named "project enviroengine," prototypes of the new engine are expected to be available later this year for laboratory testing and are expected to be available commercially in 2001. Following successful completion of testing, Carnival plans to utilize those engines on its future newbuilds.
According to Daniel Paro, Wartsila's group vice president - technology, the enviroengine is being created by combining "common rail technology" with a direct water injection system. Common rail technology uses an electronically controlled method to inject the precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time, resulting in greater engine operating efficiency and virtually eliminating smoke emissions. Direct water injection reduces nitrous oxide emissions by spraying water into the combustion chamber to cool it down immediately prior to injecting the fuel. Cooling down the chamber reduces nitrous oxide formation, which occurs at high temperatures. This method reduces nitrous oxide emission value to the same level as gas turbine engines.