Costa Group, Europe’s leading cruise operator with its two brands Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises, and the leading methanol producer, Proman, have signed an MOU to drive further the implementation of methanol as a marine fuel for the cruise industry.
The partnership between Costa and Proman aims to accelerate the energy transition and decarbonisation of the existing fleet by enhancing the supply of sustainable methanol, paving the way for the retrofitting of existing vessels to operate on clean fuel, as well as investment in further methanol-fueled new builds.
The MOU reaffirms methanol’s potential to play a key role in the ongoing reduction of GHG emissions of the cruise sector and other shipping segments. It is a cleaner-burning fuel which virtually eliminates airborne pollutants such as particulate matter and sulphur oxides and is widely available and increasingly produced via lower-carbon, biogenic or hydrogen-based pathways. When used in fuel cells, methanol has the potential to allow for lifecycle zero emissions in the near future.
Methanol is emerging as a leading alternative fuel to meet GHG reduction goals due to its easy-to-handle properties, making it attractive for both new builds and for refitting existing ships. As one of the most widely traded chemical commodities, the infrastructure for ship supply could be adapted from existing infrastructure. All forms of methanol, whether natural-gas based, low-carbon or renewable, can be blended regardless of production pathways. It therefore enables a reliable transition pathway from today to fully GHG neutral cruise ships in near future.
Pioneer in sustainable innovation
Over the years, Costa Group has been leading sustainable innovation in the global cruise industry by steadily pioneering advanced technologies on board its new and existing ships. The company was the first to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion for emission reduction with four ships already in service in the Costa Group fleet. The majority of Costa Group ships are equipped with shore power capabilities to be zero emissions in ports where the technology is available, and the company has also performed the first tests on biofuels.