NABU Cruise Ship Ranking 2018: Only One Ship Using LNG

Just one newly built cruise ship will soon use liquefied natural gas while all the others continue to sail with the dirtiest of all fuels – heavy oil, German environment association NABU said.

Image Courtesy: Michael Wessels / (c) AIDA Cruises

AIDAnova, AIDA Cruises’ newest vessel that will commence operation later this year, renounces to use toxic heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel and uses a less polluting fuel.

Therefore, the newbuilding tops Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union’s (NABU) 2018 cruise ship ranking.

All the remaining 76 ships which were checked, even eight out of nine new vessels coming into the market this year, will continue to use HFO, according to the association.

The following two cruise companies on NABU’s list encompassing cruise ships currently traveling in Europe are Hapag Lloyd Cruises and TUI Cruises. As explained by NABU, these two companies are keeping up in using SCR catalysts or on-shore power while in port on their new vessels. However, a particulate filter to reduce the harmful soot particles is not installed on these ships.

“In 2018 there are still ships coming into the market which are built to use heavy fuel oil as fuel. In all major port cities in Europe people are suffering from highly polluted air due to the growing cruise industry. But the ship owners are not taking their responsibility,” Leif Miller, NABU CEO, commented.

“With friendly words you will not get any changes, so port cities and coastal communities are now asked to ban dirty ships like Norway is doing it for some of their Fjords to protect the people and the environment,” he added.

“For the first time, in 2018 a cruise ship with liquefied natural gas propulsion will set sail (…) Now the competitors are also asked to step up and to invest in clean new ships. Nonetheless, all companies also need to find solutions for cleaning the exhaust gases of their existing fleets as these ships are still the most pressing pollution sources,” Dietmar Oeliger, Head of Transport at NABU headquarters, said.

However, LNG is not the salvation for the shipping industry, as it is still a fossil fuel, according to NABU. The numbers arguing in favor of LNG are often inaccurate.

“A recently published study of our umbrella organisation T&E shows that LNG brings no advantages regarding greenhouse gas reduction compared to diesel,” Oeliger explained.

Therefore, the industry is asked to develop propulsion systems which not only reduce air pollution but are also CO2 neutral. Without a general shift in the shipping industry the climate goals set under the Paris Agreement will not be accomplished, NABU concluded.