Costa Cruises, Enel to explore electrification of cruise ships

Italian cruise line Costa Cruises has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with compatriot energy company Enel to promote sustainable maritime mobility using electrification solutions for cruise ships.

Costa Cruises

As explained, the agreement will focus on the possibility of promoting projects to reduce emissions when cruise ships enter and leave ports and during quayside stops, with innovative solutions that provide a further opportunity to accelerate the cruise sector’s energy transition, particularly through electrification.

We are particularly proud of this agreement between two Italian companies committed to reducing emissions in their respective sectors at European and global level and with a focus on innovation and sustainability,” said Nicola Lanzetta, Enel’s Director for Italy.

By combining our respective skills, we intend to propose a virtuous model for maritime transport, with benefits not only for cruise passengers but also for the entire port system, which would thus see ship emissions and noise pollution reduced or eliminated.

In particular, the protocol aims to carry out a ship refitting ‘pilot case’ – i.e. technological improvements on a ship already in operation.

The project is aimed at zeroing local emissions when entering, stopping and leaving port, through the installation on the ship of a battery power supply, combined with a shore-side power supply and recharging system.

The goal of the refitting will be to transform a Costa cruise ship into a zero-emission ship from its entry into port until its exit, including the hours it remains stationary on the quayside, in total about half of its operating day, according to the company.

Another area of common commitment envisaged by the protocol concerns the promotion of advocacy activities aimed at simplifying and incentivizing energy efficiency, electrification, and renewable energy production in ports, especially in port areas within city environments, in line with the provisions of the European New Green Deal and the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan or PNIEC.

One of the activities concerns ‘cold ironing’, i.e. the supply of power to ships through the electrification of the shore network during port stops, for which cruise ships are already preparing – with about one-third of the Costa fleet ready now – in advance of the ‘cold ironing’ projects in the main Italian and Mediterranean ports, which have not yet been implemented.

The collaboration can also be extended abroad to the countries where the two groups operate, particularly Spain.

Our ambition is to introduce a new generation of ships operating with zero net emissions by 2050. But this is not all. Since we see the ship as an integral part of the territory, the transport activities ancillary to cruises, which take place in port and in the city, will also have to be increasingly sustainable,” said Mario Zanetti, General Manager of Costa Crociere. 

The Costa Group – which includes the Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands – was the first in the world to pioneer liquefied natural gas on cruise ships. Its LNG-powered ships include AIDAnova and Costa Smeralda, already in service; Costa Toscana, delivered today; and AIDACosma, coming soon.

In December 2021, the company took delivery of its second LNG-powered cruise ship, Costa Toscana.

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