The first ship-to-ship bunkering of a cruise ship has been carried out by Nordic energy group Gasum, paving the way for wider uptake of the fuel on international routes.
The landmark refuelling operation was carried out at the Meyer Turku shipyard and involved Carnival Corporation’s cruise ship Costa Smeralda bunkering fuel from Gasum’s vessel Coralius.
“Coralius allows us to perform ship-to-ship bunkering to different types of vessels. We are happy that this now includes a cruise ship. It is always a proud moment when we can deliver our product and make maritime transportation cleaner,” Jacob Granqvist, Sales Director, LNG Marine at Gasum, said.
Cleaner in port operation
The number of cruise vessels fuelled by LNG has risen rapidly in recent years, thanks in part to the environmental benefits of the fuel while in port. The majority of cruise vessels spend extended periods in port, often in periods of natural beauty or in areas with restrictive pollution regulations, and so require cleaner burning fuels.
“LNG is the cleanest available marine fuel, and it’s rapidly becoming the most commonly used alternative to traditional fuels. The use of LNG significantly improves local air quality as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%, and it meets all the current and forthcoming regulations set out by the International Maritime Organisation and the EU,” Gasum notes.
The Costa Smeralda is an Excellence-class cruise ship with gross tonnage of 185,010, and ithe fifth-largest cruise ship in the world as of 2019.
“[Costa Smeralda] is an innovation in the cruise and overall shipping industries, destined to mark a step change as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact [it] is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones,” Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises, said.
Costa Toscana scheduled 2021
The vessel is the first in a series of cruise ships under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard, all of which will be fitted with LNG propulsion. A sister ship, the Costa Toscana, is scheduled for delivery in 2021.
British-American cruise operator, arnival has be na strong proponent of LNG, hailing the fuel as the “technology of the future”. The group is currently the world's largest travel leisure company, with 0 cruise line brands and a combined fleet of over 100 vessels.
“We are continuing to pioneer the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest fossil fuel, and are expanding our LNG investment.
We began the implementation of our LNG vision by using LNG in port…Leading the cruise industry’s use of LNG to power cruise ships, we have a further 10 sister vessels due for delivery between 2019 and 2025,” Carnival said in a statement.