The world’s largest cruise company Carnival Corporation is marking its first foray into the use of sustainable biofuels as the AIDAprima becomes the first large-scale cruise ship to be bunkered with the fuel.
Working with Dutch biofuel supplier GoodFuels, AIDAprima took on the fuel during a stopover in Rotterdam on July 21 during a seven-day voyage in Western Europe. The marine biofuel is made from 100% sustainable raw materials, such as waste cooking oil, and marine gas oil (MGO). GoodFuels says its next-generation sustainable biofuel is derived from feedstocks that are certified as 100% waste or residue, with no land-use issues and no competition with food production or deforestation, and results results in a well-to-exhaust CO2 reduction of 80 to 90% when compared to fossil fuels.
AIDAprima falls under Carnival Corporation’s European cruise operator Costa Group, which encompasses Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises.
Carnival said the bunkering marks an important milestone in Costa Group’s decarbonization strategy, which includes testing technologies and processes to improve the efficiency of the existing fleet. In addition to the use of biofuels, Costa Group’s decarbonization efforts include the installation of the first fuel cell on board a cruise ship, the AIDAnova, and the commissioning of what is currently the cruise industry’s largest battery storage system with a capacity of 10 megawatt hours on board AIDAprima. Costa Group is also focusing on the expansion and increased use of shore power in ports where the shore-side infrastructure is available.
“We continue to actively explore all opportunities to decarbonize our fleet while advancing efficiency in line with international carbon intensity reduction targets,” said Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises. “With the successful start of biofuel usage, we have proven that gradual decarbonization is possible even on ships already in service. An important prerequisite for us as a cruise line to be able to use it is that it becomes widely available on an industrial scale and at marketable prices.”
GoodFuels said the bunkering can offer a blueprint for the wider cruise sector on how to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuels in large-scale passenger ships, seeing the potential for the expansion of biofuels to other brands under the Carnival Corporation banner.
“This first bio-bunkering with AIDA Cruises marks an exciting step forward on the cruise industry’s decarbonisation pathway, demonstrating that our sustainable biofuels are a safe, technically viable and convenient option to drastically cut down emissions from passenger vessels,” said Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO of GoodFuels. “As the effects of climate change are felt acutely in several parts of the world, the time for action is now, and biofuels are one of the few options that can already make a difference today. We are delighted to have worked alongside the trail-blazers at AIDA Cruises in the past few months to make this milestone a reality, and we look forward to collaborating again in the future.”
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