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TEN-T: EU to co-fund innovative and cleaner technologies for cargo ships

Date: 10/03/2015

The EU's TEN-T Programme  will support with over €4.5 million a pilot test of an innovative exhaust gas cleaner on cargo ships navigating in the North and Baltic Sea. The new technology is expected to reduce considerably the environmental impact of ships, as well as to bring down the costs for using less polluting fuels.

European regulation requires all cargo vessels travelling in European waters to cut down the emission of sulphur oxide (SO) from 2015 onwards, to decrease environmental pollution. Among the existing solutions scrubber, a system removing SO from exhaust gases with fresh water, is the most common technology used in this process.

This pilot project will install and test the latest scrubber technology that uses sea water instead of fresh water in an open loop. The new cleaning system is expected to bring a number of economic and environmental benefits: ships will no longer need to carry supplies of fresh water, nor will they have to transport and use chemicals for water treatment, in order to reuse it. More space will be available for cargo.

The latest scrubber technology will be tried out on three different types of cargo ships, which all together represent the most common general cargo vessels in the water trade routes of the North and Baltic Sea. Project's results will be shared with stakeholders of the transport industry and decision makers, and could facilitate introduction of the technology at EU level, enhancing the competitiveness of short sea transport compared to other modes.

The project was selected for EU funding with the assistance of external experts under the TEN-T Annual Call 2013 , priority 'Decarbonisation / substitution or environmental cost reduction'. Its implementation will be monitored by INEA , the European Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.

The project is to be completed by December 2015.

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