AIDAprima has started operations with a blend of marine biofuel made from 100 percent sustainable raw materials. This marks an important milestone in Costa Group’s decarbonization strategy.
Over the years, the Costa Group – Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises – has been leading sustainable innovation for the cruise industry by steadily introducing, first in the sector, new advanced technologies on board its ships. The company was the first to introduce LNG propulsion and currently already has 4 LNG-powered ships in service. Moreover, the majority of the ships in the fleet are equipped with shore power capabilities resulting in zero emissions in ports, where this technology is available.
A few weeks after announcing the creation of its dedicated decarbonization department, the Costa Group has taken a major step forward in its decarbonization strategy by announcing that it will start testing the usage of biofuel aboard one of its AIDA Cruises ships.
As part of its CO2 emissions reduction efforts AIDAprima became the first larger scale cruise ship to be bunkered with a blend of marine biofuel during its layover in Rotterdam on July 21, 2022. The biofuel is made from 100 percent sustainable raw materials such as waste cooking oil, and marine gas oil (MGO). The cooperation partner is the Dutch biofuel pioneer GoodFuels. AIDAprima is currently sailing on seven-day voyages to the metropolises of Western Europe and to Norway from/to Hamburg.
The current project represents an important milestone of the Costa Group’s
decarbonization strategy, which includes testing technologies and processes to improve the efficiency of the existing fleet.
With the successful start of biofuel usage, it will be proven that gradual decarbonization is possible even on ships already in service. An important prerequisite to be able to use biofuels, however, is that it becomes widely available on an industrial scale and at marketable prices.
In addition to the use of biofuels, the Group’s efforts also include the installation of the first fuel cell on board AIDAnova and the commissioning of what is currently the largest battery storage system in cruise shipping with a capacity of ten megawatt hours on board AIDAprima. Furthermore, the Costa Group is focusing on the expansion and increased use of shore power in ports where the shore-side infrastructure is available.