A $400 million project to design, build and install systems aimed at cutting air emissions across more than 70 ships has been outlined by Carnival Corporation.

The so-called scrubbing technology will enable the cruise conglomerate to meet new regulations which place a cap on sulfur content of fuel oil at 0.1%.

Carnival claims the systems, to be installed on more than 70% of its global fleet over three years, will help the company meet its environmental sustainability goals, as well as mitigate escalating fuel costs.

The systems, known for their ability to clean – or “scrub” – exhaust from high-sulfur fuel, will be installed on 22 Carnival Cruise Lines vessels, nine Holland America Line vessels, seven Princess Cruises’ vessels and Cunard’s three ships .

Ten AIDA Cruises and six Costa Cruises vessels will also install the systems.

Carnival UK brand P&O Cruises is assessing how the systems can be most effective on its vessels under European Union environmental law, the company said, adding that the remaining schedule of installations will be forthcoming.

The plan incorporates a two-pronged system – one to reduce particulates from the ship’s engine emissions, and another to use seawater to “scrub” sulfur compounds from the exhaust gases.

Chief executive Arnold Donald (pictured) said: “This is a key step forward for Carnival Corporation and its 10 brands – and most importantly for the environment.

“We believe Carnival Corporation’s investment in this industry-leading technology will set a new course in environmental protection and cleaner air for years to come.

“Increasing environmental sustainability is one of our most important corporate goals, and having the new systems on our ships will be another effective way for us to meet that objective.”