The European cruise company, Costa Group, with its Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands, which is part of Carnival Corporation, has created a dedicated decarbonization department within its Carnival Maritime unit based in Hamburg, Germany.
The new department will be responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for achieving the decarbonization ambitions of the Costa and AIDA fleets by 2050.
The effort will have a strong focus on research and development, energy management, and data analytics to develop a roadmap leading to zero-emission ship operations, the company said.
“Addressing climate change requires a great effort and commitment, and we believe that the creation of our new dedicated task force is a key asset to accelerate the development of new concepts that can lead us to reach carbon-neutral operations by 2050,” said Michael Thamm, Group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia.
“To meet this challenge, we intend to build collaborations and partnerships with other players in the value chain to continue our pioneering role within the cruise industry. We will also continue to work in close cooperation with governments to make sure that Europe can lead the way to sustainable cruising. "
Improving existing fleet - Batteries, Fuel Cells, Solar, Wind Power
As a priority, Costa Group said that the new department will work to further improve the environmental performance of the existing fleet, working in synergy with the sustainability departments of the Costa and AIDA brands.
Specifically, the unit will study and test new technologies, such as batteries, fuel cells, solar and wind power to accelerate their availability.
Also, Costa Group said that the next-generation exhaust gas–cleaning systems are being developed with partners to lower emission levels.
"Over time, developments in the application of alternative fuels on a large scale, including biofuels (liquefied biogas and biodiesel), methanol, ammonia and hydrogen fuels will provide Costa Group ships flexibility in the use of low-carbon energy. Solutions are being designed to meet requirements for newbuilds as well as for the current fleet for the capability to store and utilize new-generation fuels," Costa Group said.
According to Costa Group, the company was the first to introduce LNG propulsion - dubbed the most advanced fuel technology available to reduce emissions - with four ships already in service in the Costa Group fleet.
"Moreover, the majority of the ships in the fleet are equipped with shore power capabilities to produce zero emissions in ports where that technology is available," Costa Group said,
Currently, Costa Group is getting ready to install the biggest lithium-ion battery storage system on the cruise ship AIDAprima by the summer of 2022.
Moreover, Costa Group said that fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol are currently being installed on the AIDAnova to run the first tests this summer. Also worth noting, Costa Group is working on carbon-capture experimental projects with Ecospray, the Italian-based company of which Costa is a shareholder.