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LNG The Viking Grace was a pioneer in LNG use for large cruise vessels

Moving on LNG

f there is one segment of shipping that has embraced the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a fuel, it is passenger ships. According to classification society DNV GL, as of mid-February worldwide there were 35 passenger vessels operating on LNG, including 31 car/passenger ferries and four ROPAX vessels. There’s another 16 car/ passenger ferries, 11 cruise ships and eight ROPAX vessels on order. The orderbook for LNG-fueled cruise ships now has grown to 13 in total, with Carnival Corporation & plc intending to build seven ships across its 10 brands, MSC Cruises with a Letter of Intent for four 200,000 grt vessels with STX France, and Royal Caribbean Lines with a Memorandum of Understanding for two Icon Class ships with Finland’s Meyer Turku shipyard. The first of Carnival’s LNG-fueled ships—for its AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands—will go into “green cruising” service in Europe in 2019. While LNG-fueled cruise ships 36 Marine Log // April 2017

represent only a small percentage of current newbuilds—13 out of a total of 87 vessels—operators are looking to invest in ships that can meet today’s and future emissions regulations. A study commissioned by Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) called “Evaluation of Cruise Industry Global Environmental Practices” documents the sector’s improvements in environmental stewardship. The study—released on March 30—was prepared by Energy and Environmental Research Associates, LLC (EERA). It examines various multiple research and data sources analyzed the practices and performance of the CLIA Cruise Line Members’ global fleet of nearly 300 ocean-going cruise ships as well as the industry’s investment in technological innovation aboard newly built ships in its growing fleet. In a statement, CLIA said that LNG use in newbuilds, “presents a compelling alternative for certain designs that otherwise might utilize traditional fossil

fuels and require specialized fuel or additional equipment to remove emissions from engine exhaust to meet the various international, regional and national air emissions regulations globally. LNG fueled cruise ships will meet the existing emissions requirements and those forecast for implementation to reduce SOx emissions, with anticipated reductions in other emissions as well that include CO2, NOx, and PM. For newbuilds, the safety and capacity requirements of LNG systems can be incorporated into the overall design of certain ships while also preserving the function and innovation that passengers expect from modern cruise ships.” The cruise industry should probably tip its hat to Viking Line’s Viking Grace. One of the early adopters in the large passenger vessel segment to use LNG, the 57,565-gt Viking Grace has been in operation since 2013. The 213m x 31m ROPAX was proof positive of the viability of LNG for large cruise ships. It marked two milestones in

Photo Credit: Viking Line

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Cruise ship, ferry operators buy into environmental and operational benefits of operating on natural gas

Marine Log April 2017  
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