The world’s first LNG hybrid barge of Becker Marine Systems was christened with the name “Hummel” on October 18, 2014, at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity Hamburg. The godmother of the inaugural event for the floating LNG power plant for environmentally friendly energy supply of cruise ships was Dr. Monika Griefahn, Chief Sustainability Officer at AIDA Cruises. The co-founder of Greenpeace Germany and former Minister of Environment of Lower Saxony has been involved in sustainability and environmental protection for more than 30 years.
“With this pilot project, Becker Marine Systems and AIDA Cruises are together setting an example for environmental and climate protection, not only for the city of Hamburg but also for the entire maritime industry,” said AIDA President Michael Ungerer. “With the LNG hybrid barge, we have again demonstrated that environmental protection and economic interests are not a contradiction for us.”
Thanks to the use of the floating LNG power plant, emissions and particle discharge will be significantly reduced. Compared to the use of conventional marine diesel with 0.1 percent sulfur content, no sulfur oxides and no soot particles are emitted. Nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced by up to 80 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent.
As part of the inaugural event, the plug connection between the LNG hybrid barge and AIDAsol was successfully tested. With the start of the new cruise season in the spring of 2015, it is planned to supply the AIDAsol for the first time with electricity produced from liquefied natural gas (LNG) while it is berthed in the port of Hamburg.
All ships of the AIDA fleet which were put into service in 2007 or later are already prepared for the use of shore power. Since 2007 the company has voluntarily used only marine diesel with 0.1 percent sulfur content for the production of energy on board its fleet in the Port of Hamburg. This has been required by law for all seagoing vessels in European ports only since 2010.
In the summer of 2013, the company adopted an additional investment program in the amount of 100 million euros for the use of state-of-the-art environmental technologies. The core of the program is a comprehensive filter system for reducing exhaust gas emissions. With this unprecedented technology for exhaust treatment, emissions of soot particles, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides will be reduced by 90 to 99 percent for the first time. It is not just the two new AIDA ships that will be put into service in 2015 and 2016 that will be equipped with this technology developed within the Carnival Group. The ships of the existing fleet will also be gradually retrofitted with this filter system.
In the spring of 2016, the first ship of the new AIDA generation, AIDAprima, will be moored for the first time in its future home port of Hamburg.
AIDAprima is the first cruise ship with a shore power connection, a comprehensive system for exhaust gas aftertreatment, and a dual fuel engine. This can be operated with conventional fuel or LNG, depending on availability.
As a cruise line and tour operator, AIDA Cruises operates and markets one of the world’s most state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly fleets, currently comprising 10 cruise ships. The ships are operated in compliance with the highest international quality, environmental, and safety standards. The AIDA fleet will be expanded to 12 ships by 2016. Since 2007 the company has published its annual Sustainability Report, which is based on the international GRI standard.