06 Jan 2023, 13:13
Sören Amelang

Cruise ships in Europe switch to diesel from LNG due to high costs

dpa / Süddeutsche Zeitung

An increasing number of cruise ships have switched their propellant from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to diesel fuel because of high LNG prices, reports newswire dpa in an article carried by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. German operator Aida Cruises said several of its ships have been running on marine gasoil, a form of diesel, for some weeks, given that LNG costs had multiplied as a result of the breakdown of gas trading between Europe and Russia. Italian operator Costa Cruises said it had suspended the use of LNG on two of its ships. "The ongoing energy crisis is causing widespread disruptions in access to and overall supply of liquefied natural gas," the company said, adding the ships will now also burn marine gasoil. “As soon as the energy market stabilises, we will resume LNG operations." Norwegian operator Fjord Line had announced earlier that it would convert its two LNG ships into dual-fuel vessels.
Aida Cruises said its “Aidanova” was the world’s first cruise ship that could be powered exclusively with LNG when it was commissioned in 2018. LNG engines are not only lower in local emissions compared with diesel or gasoil, but are also considered a technology that can act as a bridge towards climate-neutral cruising, as the engines can also run on emissions-free gases in the future.

Germany has launched an initiative for greening the European shipping sector in the context of its EU Council Presidency in 2020. It has also enacted legislation that is aimed at improving the climate impact of large vessels, for example by making the use of land power mandatory in its ports. The country's largest, ship engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions, has said it wants sustainable propulsion technologies to make up the majority of the company's business by 2030.

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