Costa Group, Proman to drive adoption of methanol as a marine fuel for the cruise industry

Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group and Proman, a top methanol producer, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance the use of methanol as a marine fuel for the cruise industry.

Illustration; Image credit: Costa Cruises

The partnership aims to accelerate the energy transition and decarbonization of the existing fleet by improving the supply of sustainable methanol and retrofitting existing vessels, as well as investing in the construction of new methanol-powered vessels.

Methanol is a cleaner fuel that virtually eliminates air pollutants such as particulate matter and sulfur oxides. It is widely available and increasingly being produced in lower-carbon, biogenic, or hydrogen-based pathways. When used in fuel cells, methanol has the potential to be emission-free over its entire lifecycle. Methanol is emerging as a leading alternative fuel to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals due to its easy-to-handle properties, making its use attractive for both newbuild and existing ship conversions.

Through this partnership, Costa Group aims to reduce the fleet’s carbon footprint in port and at sea and achieve their goal of greenhouse gas-neutral operation of their fleet by 2050. The Costa Group has already introduced the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) onboard its ships to reduce emissions, and most ships of the Costa Group are equipped with a shore power connection to operate with almost zero emissions in ports.

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“The technology to retrofit a vessel to accept methanol as a fuel is available today. Our methanol products can facilitate the transition to low-carbon intensity fuels. Methanol-powered vessels have a proven track record of reducing and eliminating major greenhouse gas emissions, delivering immediate air quality improvements around major ports and shipping lanes. We are excited to bring our expertise along the full methanol value chain to help deliver on Costa Group’s bold ambitions,” said Tim Cornelius, Proman’s Managing Director of Corporate Development.

By enabling cruise ships to use methanol as a propulsion fuel, Costa follows the ambition to take the next big step towards GHG neutral operations of our fleet by 2050,” said Dr. Christoph Schladoer, VP Decarbonisation Costa Group.