Cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation has signed an LNG supply deal with Shell for two next-generation cruise ships as it hailed the fuel as the “technology of the future”.
The agreement will see Shell NA LNG supply fuel for the two new ships expected to launch by Carnival Cruise Line in 2020 and 2022. They will be homeported in North America and fuelled by Shell's ocean-going LNG Bunker Barge (LBB) designed to support growing cruise line demand for LNG along the southern U.S. East Coast.
“We are looking at technology for the future… LNG has the best emissions profile of any fossil fuel and meets and exceed all current requirements and those in the foreseeable future,” Tom Strang, senior vice-president for maritime affairs at Carnival, said.
Fully powered by LNG
Both new vessels will be fully powered by LNG both while in port and at sea – an industry first and are expected to be the most efficient ships in company history. The 180,000-ton ships will also be the largest ships in Carnival’s fleet with approximate passenger capacity of 5,200 based on double occupancy.
"This agreement is a significant stepping stone in our relationship with Carnival Corporation building upon our previous LNG marine fuel supply agreements in Europe… It also marks a milestone as we continue to establish the marine LNG fuel market in the U.S. as a credible part of the global marine fuel mix,” Tahir Faruqui, president, Shell NA LNG, said.
The new agreement builds on the existing partnership between Carnival Corporation's AIDA Cruises brand and Shell to supply its AIDAprima ship with LNG to power the vessel while docked. The partnership will also supply the world's first fully LNG-powered cruise ships when they enter service in 2018 and 2019.
“What was the biggest factor in Carnival opting for LNG as a fuel? Clearly environment plays a huge part in the at decision but…we needed to have a fuel that was economic … and we wanted to future-proof our vessel… LNG we see as a fuel for the future. … it will have a big impact on the industry…the whole maritime sector… we think LNG is the best way forward,” Strang said.
Seven LNG vessels on order
Carnival currently has agreements in place with shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku to build a total of seven LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its 10 global cruise brands with delivery dates between 2018 and 2022.
These include two for AIDA Cruises, scheduled to launch in 2018 and 2021, two for Costa Cruises due for delivery in 2019 and 2021, one for P&O Cruises UK with an expected delivery date in 2020 and two for Carnival Cruise Line with expected delivery dates in 2020 and 2022.