On January 1, 2021, all large vessels whose keel laying occurred since 2016 must comply with stricter emissions standards. This IMO Tier III regulation worries megayacht builders and owners, due to the bulky nature of the current solutions. The marine-exhaust company MarQuip, however, may have a custom installation to suit you. In fact, the MarQuip IMO Tier III solution reportedly will fit aboard yachts as small as 90’9” (27.7 meters).
The IMO (short for the International Maritime Organization) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that regulates shipping. Specifically, it’s responsible for the safety and security of shipping, with “shipping” defining all vessels. The IMO additionally regulates vessel-related marine and atmospheric pollution. To that end, the Tier III requirement reduces nitrogen-oxide emissions 70 percent further than the current standard. It reduces sound levels more as well. The regulations are already in effect for large vessels with engine outputs of 130 kW or more, and whose keel layings took place on or following January 1, 2016. Starting in 2021, though, every vessel—including yachts—larger than 24 meters, or 79 feet, must comply.
According to industry representatives from shipyards as well as the propulsion sector, add-on systems are the only currently available solutions. While they suit large yachts, it’s another story for smaller yachts. Indeed, ones beneath 500 gross tons have more engine-room size and space issues. Already, Viking Yachts announced that its Viking 93 Motor Yacht and 92 Convertible could cease construction.
“Basically the issue we’re dealing with is that after-treatment units are heavy and bulky,” Jeroen van der Matten, MarQuip’s general manager of operations, explains. While on larger boats, engine manufacturers are actually supplying the units with the powerplants, he continues, “there will often not be enough space for these standard solutions” with smaller yachts.
This is why the MarQuip IMO Tier III solution came about. In fact, van der Matten says, MarQuip will tailor it to each engine room. “We have the capability to combine a silencer and an after-treatment system in a single unit—both things that engine manufacturers cannot,” he summarizes. The arrangement suits multiple brands of engines, too. It’s also fully developed and therefore ready for installation. MarQuip asserts that the system is the most-compact, custom solution available. The dimensions are 2300mm x 1400 mm x 680 mm (7’2” x 4’6” x 2’2”).
The MarQuip IMO Tier III system will be on display at the METSTRADE industry trade show in Amsterdam next week. In the meantime, the company recognizes more work needs to be done. It also recognizes challenges will arise as systems roll out. “We would also like to challenge the engine manufacturers to come up with better options, better solutions,” van der Matten says. Typically, he explains, engines and the after-treatment units come “as big standardized boxes.” Unfortunately, they’re also typically altered versions of onshore solutions. “This may work for tankers or large commercial vessels, but it is a far cry from what many owners of smaller yachts need.”