Costa Cruises new LNG-powered mega cruise ship Costa Smeralda has carried out the first ever LNG “ship-to-ship” bunkering operation (re-fueling) in France.
The operation was conducted in the Port of Marseille on Monday this week. Fuel was provided by the Coral Methane during an overnight bunkering process.
“We are all proud to have been able to complete this operation smoothly and safely,” said Amaury de Maupeou, the Marseille Fos Port Authority Commander. “This is a first in France and proves to what extent, even during the current health crisis, we are capable of supporting the development of LNG, which is one of the measures deployed by the Port of Marseille Fos to reduce its environmental impact.”
LNG fuel is a liquified natural gas that produces far fewer emissions than the diesel or heavy fuel oils commonly used to power cruise ships and other vessels, and is therefore more environmentally sustainable.
Costa Smeralda, delivered earlier this year, is one of a fleet of LNG-powered cruise ships planned by Costa Cruises and its parent company Carnival Corporation.
At 180,000-gross tons she is one of the largest cruise ships in Europe, a sister ship to AIDA Cruises’ AIDAnova, delivered in December, 2018.
Another Carnival-owned cruise line, P&O Cruises, was meant to take delivery of its own new LNG-powered mega ship, Iona, this year, but that was delayed due to the Coronavirus and subsequent industry-wide shutdown of global cruise operations.
Carnival Corporation has a further eight LNG-powered mega cruise ships (all over 170,000-gross tons) due for delivery between now and 2026, for its AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, and Princess Cruises brands.
“We are happy that our new LNG powered flagship Costa Smeralda was part of this new milestone for the Port of Marseille,” said Franco Porcellacchia, Sustainable Innovation and Infrastructure Development Vice President Costa Group.
“Carnival and Costa specifically have been the first cruise operator to invest in sustainable innovation with LNG and continue to be committed to ensuring the highest environmental standards for a more sustainable future of cruising,” he added.
Carnival Cruise Line’s new LNG-powered Mardi Gras was meant to be delivered this year, but it’s unclear whether that timetable has been delayed by the current uncertainty over Coronavirus.