Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) has signed a supply agreement with Carnival Corporation & plc (Carnival) to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel two of the world’s largest passenger cruise ships. Under the agreement, Shell will supply Carnival’s AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands with fuel for the new LNG-powered cruise ships due to start sailing in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean in 2019.
Pioneering a new era in the use of alternative fuels that reduce air emissions, these ships will be the first in the cruise industry use LNG to generate 100 percent of the ship’s power both in port and on the open sea – an innovation that will significantly improve air quality to help protect the environment and support Carnival Corporation’s sustainability goals.
LNG is a new alternative fuel for vessel and ship operators who are responding to sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), and beyond.
Lauran Wetemans, Shell’s General Manager Downstream LNG, said: “We have been working closely with Carnival to get to this point in our commercial partnership. Working together from an early stage is critical in helping the transition to cleaner LNG cruising. This is a unique partnership that will contribute to a robust and reliable LNG fuel supply chain, along with opportunities for future growth.”
The announcement was preceded by the company’s order early in September of three additional next-generation cruise ships that will be fully powered by LNG, bringing its fully LNG-powered ship orders total to seven across four of its 10 global cruise lines. Two of the new LNG-powered ships are designated for Carnival Cruise Line, with delivery dates expected in 2020 and 2022, and one is designated for P&O Cruises UK with an expected delivery date in 2020. The remaining two vessels will also be built for the Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands and are expected to enter service in 2021.
As part of the framework agreement, Carnival Corporation and Shell have the opportunity to partner together on supplying marine LNG fuel to future LNG-powered vessels or additional itineraries. The overarching agreement enables each Carnival Corporation brand to negotiate individual LNG supply contracts with Shell as new LNG-powered cruise ships begin to launch in coming years.
“We are committed to reducing our air emissions and improving air quality through various means, including LNG,” said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation. “We are proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry and creating a new model for powering next-generation cruise ships.”
Under the terms of the agreement, one Carnival cruise ship will refuel from Shell’s special LNG bunker vessel that will load at the Gas Access to Europe terminal (Gate) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The second ship is expected to refuel at one of the ports in the Western Mediterranean.
(Sources: Shell and Carnival)