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New department gives focus to Costa decarbonisation efforts

Fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol are being fitted on AIDAnova, with initial tests taking place this summer
Fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol are currently being installed on AIDAnova with first tests to run this summer, while Costa Group is ready to fit what it describes as ‘the biggest lithium-ion battery storage system’ on AIDAprima.

The Group is also working on carbon capture experimental projects with Ecospray, an Italian-based company of which Costa is a shareholder. 

These and other efforts are under way as Costa Group creates a new department fully dedicated to decarbonisation. 

New decarbonation department 

Costa Group’s new decarbonisation department, which sits within its Carnival Maritime unit based in Hamburg, will concentrate scientific and technical expertise to achieve the goal of zero emissions for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises by 2050. 

It will study and test new technologies, such as batteries, fuel cells, solar and wind power to accelerate their availability. As well as research and development, it will also look at energy management and data analytics to develop a roadmap that will lead to zero emission ship operations.

As a priority, the department will work to further improve the environmental performance of the existing fleet, working in synergy with the sustainability departments of Costa Cruises and AIDA brands.

‘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,’ explained Michael Thamm, group CEO, 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.’ 

Sustainability initiatives underway

Next-generation exhaust gas cleaning systems are being developed with Costa partners to allow lower emission levels. 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. 

Solutions are also being designed to meet requirements for newbuilds, as well as for the current fleet, for the capability to store and utilise new-generation fuels.

Sustainability record 

Costa Group was the first within the cruise industry to introduce LNG propulsion. It has four LNG-powered ships in service. The majority of its ships are equipped with shore power capabilities.