AIDA Cruises has become the first big ship cruise line to incorporate biofuels into its range of maritime fuel sources.
Working with the Dutch biofuel pioneer GoodFuels, the cruise line has bunkered (refuelled) with a blend of marine biofuel for its ship AIDAprima.
The biofuel blend used is made from 100 percent sustainable raw materials such as waste cooking oil, and marine gas oil (MGO). The bunkering was conducted on July 21st during AIDAprima’s layover in Rotterdam.
The development is part of AIDA Cruises ongoing investment in a future-proof and sustainable cruise market as part of its Green Cruising Strategy.
The cruise line is working with partners from research, science, and industry to develop innovative solutions and use technologies that pave the way to net carbon-neutral ship operations.
Much like MSC Cruises, which has publicly stated its intention of going carbon neutral, AIDA Cruises, as part of the Costa Cruises Group (itself part of the Carnival Corporation giant), has outlined plans to eliminate as much of its carbon footprint as possible.
Costa Cruises is the first cruise line in the world to launch a Decarbonisation Department, and it along with AIDA has been expanding its fleet of LNG-powered ships. LNG produces far fewer emissions than conventional marine diesel and heavy fuel oil, while biofuels cut such emissions even further.
In addition to the use of biofuels, AIDA has also installed the first fuel cell on board AIDAnova and has comissioned the largest battery storage system in cruise shipping with a capacity of ten megawatt hours on board AIDAprima.
AIDA Cruises is also focusing on the expansion and increased use of shore power while in port, which reduces emissions in urban, populated settings.
“With the successful start of biofuel usage, we have proven that gradual decarbonisation is possible even on ships already in service,” said Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises. “An important prerequisite for us as a cruise line to be able to use it is that it becomes widely available on an industrial scale and at marketable prices.”
Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO of GoodFuels, said AIDA’s use of biofuels aboard AIDAprima was an important first step in industrial-scale roll out of cleaner bunkering options for cruise ships and commercial vessels.
“This first bio-bunkering with AIDA Cruises marks an exciting step forward on the cruise industry’s decarbonisation pathway, demonstrating that our sustainable biofuels are a safe, technically viable and convenient option to drastically cut down emissions from passenger vessels,” he said.
AIDA has indicated that its cooperation with GoodFuels will be developed on a long-term basis. The company’s sustainable and certified biofuels are virtually free of sulfur oxides and offer CO2 reductions of 80 to 90 percent compared to fossil fuels, while being functionally equivalent to petroleum-derived fuels.
They can be used in ship main engines without modifications to the engine or fuel infrastructure.
AIDAprima is currently sailing on seven-day voyages to the metropolises of Western Europe and to Norway from/to Hamburg.