The Costa Group has announced the creation of a dedicated decarbonization department within its Carnival Maritime unit in Hamburg.
The newly established department will bring the group’s scientific and technical expertise under one roof and will be responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for achieving the decarbonization ambitions of the Costa and AIDA fleets, by 2050, according to a prepared statement.
Costa said the effort will have a strong focus on research and development, energy management and data analytics to develop the roadmap that will lead to zero emission ship operations. As a priority, the newly created 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 be studying and testing new technologies, such as batteries, fuel cells, solar and wind power, to accelerate their availability.
Next-generation exhaust gas cleaning systems are currently being developed with partners to allow lower emission levels, according to Costa. 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 allow the ships to be flexible on the use of low- carbon energy, the company stated. Solutions are being designed to meet requirements for newbuild ships, as well as for the current fleet, for the capability to store and utilize new-generation fuels.
“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,” commented Michael Thamm, CEO of the 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”.
The Costa Group has been at the forefront of sustainable innovation for the cruise industry by introducing new advanced technologies on board its existing and new ships. The company was the first to introduce LNG propulsion with four ships being already in service. The majority of the ships in the fleet are also equipped with shore power capabilities to be zero emission in ports, where this technology is available.
Furthermore, the biggest lithium-ion battery storage system on a cruise ship will be installed on the AIDAprima over the summer. Moreover, fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol are being installed on the AIDAnova to run the first tests this summer. With Ecospray, the Italian-based company of which Costa is shareholder, Costa Group is also working on carbon capture experimental projects.