Finnish shipbuilder Meyer Turk has cut the first steel for the first of two Costa Cruises ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Newbuild NB-1394 gets a new name also – Costa Smeralda.
The ship’s name pays tribute to the Emerald Coast (or Costa Smeralda) in northern Sardinia in the Mediterranean, widely known as one of world’s most beautiful and famous destinations and natural environments.
The 183 900 GT vessel will sail to the seas in October 2019 with a sister ship following in 2021. “The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true innovation and set new standards for the entire sector,” said Costa Cruises’ president Neil Palomba. “They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology.”
The two new ships will be powered both in port and on the open sea by LNG, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. LNG will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate 100 percent of the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. The use of LNG is a major innovation in terms of environmental impact, as it will significantly reduce exhaust gas emissions, in particular sulphur (SO2), nitrogen (NO2), CO2 and particulate matter.
The Costa Smeralda will be the world’s first LNG-powered ship to be broadly marketed to consumers from multiple countries, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. It will be offering cruises in Western Mediterranean, which will be on sale from early 2018.
Major Newbuilds Program
Construction of the Costa Smeralda is part of a strategic plan from Carnival Corporation & plc – the world’s largest cruise company with 10 brands, including Costa Cruises – to build seven LNG-powered ships for its 103-ship fleet, starting in fall 2018 when the company’s German-based AIDA Cruises brand introduces AIDAnova, which will be marketed largely to German consumers.
“In the last two years, we have had very intense design collaboration with our customer and the outcome is a really fresh and new design fused with the latest of technology,” commented Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer. “We are happy to bring our experience with building LNG powered passenger ships to bear.”
Costa Cruises ships will be partially build by new machinery and building processes of Meyer Turku. With an investments plan of 185 million euros, Meyer Turku is aiming to be the world’s most modern cruise ship yard.
LNG bunkering will be provided by Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell), as announced last year.
Sources: Carnival Corporation and Meyer Turku
Related article: Carnival Begins LNG Seven with AIDAnova Keel-laying