By the time most people read this, one of the most significant regulatory shifts to impact yachting will have come into force. As of 1 January 2021, the IMO Tier III regulation on exhaust emissions will apply to all new-builds under 500gt, extending the scope of the rules to encompass the entire superyacht fleet.

This change has long been feared by yacht builders, who expected that its imposition would destroy their market, due to the need to extend engine rooms’ size to an unviable extent.

The regulations have been the subject of debate and lobbying for almost a decade, and as such, in anticipation of their inevitability, reactive companies such as HUG Engineering have been busy working on smart solutions that can help to preserve the health of the <500gt market, with the development of a compact version of its Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system for this vessel’s segment.

“Based on the very robust and well-known functionalities that we have within our portfolio, we have been able to validate a variety of designs that align with existing engine configurations so they can fit within existing engine room designs,” explains Lukas Cavegn, Product Line Director for marine applications at HUG Engineering.

The challenge for HUG Engineering, and the consideration that had most concerned the industry, was developing aSCR system that made no physical imprint on the size of the engine room and, at the same time, did not add a disproportionate amount of weight to the vessel. No easy task!

The company has managed to meet both these core objectives, having tested its designs across several vessel types, and it will be bringing the system to market in the spring of 2021.

“We know we had to deliver a solution within the same footprint as the engine, and to stay within a height limit of no more than 500mm above the engine. We are now in the final stages of improving the ventilation process so that heat may dissipate efficiently.” Carlo Bertoglio, Italy General Manager says.

HUG Engineering’s SCR technology has long been proven effective for custom vessels; the challenge was to reduce its size to be able to meet the extremely stringent limits imposed on yachts under 500gt, both in weight and size terms. The company has now a solution in place that meets both those requirements could yet be the savior of the yacht sector to reduce its environmental footprint. Regulations are not going away; in contrast, they will only grow in scope and application. With this technology available, owners and builders of sub-500gt can be sure of safe passage moving forward.

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