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Construction starts on world's first fully LNG-powered cruise ship

AIDAnova's first steel block weighs about 120 tons, is approximate 5 meters wide, 8.2 meters high and 21 meters long. Here it is being lifted by the crane into Meyer Werft's building dock AIDAnova's first steel block weighs about 120 tons, is approximate 5 meters wide, 8.2 meters high and 21 meters long. Here it is being lifted by the crane into Meyer Werft's building dock

With a keel-laying ceremony broadcast at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg, construction of the world's first fully powered LNG ship, AIDAnova, is under way at Meyer Werft.

The AIDA Cruises ship will be the first of seven operated by Carnival Corp. & plc that use liquefied natural gas for propulsion and power in port, an innovation that will dramatically reduce exhaust emissions. The ships have delivery dates between 2018 and 2022, and are being built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg and and Finland's Meyer Turku.

Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corp., together with Bernard Meyer, CEO of Meyer Yards; Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and representatives of three of the Carnival Corp. brands that will receive the LNG ships—David Dingle, chairman of Carnival UK; Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises; and Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises—gave the official 'full steam ahead' signal for the keel-laying of AIDAnova, scheduled for delivery in fall 2018.

'Today marked a significant milestone in the construction of this next-generation of Carnival Corporation ships featuring our "green cruising" design, which will be the most environmentally friendly ships in our company's history,' Donald said. 'We are committed to continuing to reduce air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating both new and established solutions, including LNG.'

Donald added Carnival is 'proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry, and we appreciate our long-standing partnership with Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku.'

'We thank Carnival Corporation and AIDA Cruises very much for their trust and their pioneering decision to implement LNG technology onboard their cruise ships,' Bernard Meyer said. 'The corresponding infrastructure is now being developed at numerous ports. Carnival Corporation has made a decision that not only benefits the environment, but that also is highly important for the whole cruise industry.'

Next in line to get an LNG newbuild is Costa in 2019. A steel-cutting ceremony for this ship is scheduled at Meyer Turku in the coming week. LNG-powered ships for Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises will follow in 2020. Costa and AIDA will each receive an additional LNG ship in 2021, followed by an additional one for the Carnival brand in 2022.

Posted 06 September 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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