Methanol producer Proman and Costa Group join forces towards cruise industry's decarbonisation

   February 17, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Costa Group (part of Carnival Corporation) and Europe’s leading cruise operator managing the brands AIDA and Costa, signed with Proman (one of the world's largest methanol producers and a major producer of fertilizers) an MoU "to drive further the implementation of methanol as a marine fuel for the cruise industry."

The unique partnership aims to accelerate the energy transition/decarbonization of the Costa Group's current fleet by enhancing the supply of sustainable methanol, thus paving the way for the retrofitting of existing ships to operate on cleaner fuels, as well as investment in methanol-fueled newbuilds.

The MoU reaffirms methanol’s potential to play a major role in the ongoing reduction of the cruise sector's GHG emissions. It is a cleaner-burning fuel that virtually eliminates airborne pollutants like particulate matter/sulfur oxides and is widely available/increasingly produced via lower-carbon/biogenic/hydrogen-based pathways.

If used in fuel cells, methanol has the potential to allow for lifecycle zero emissions.

Methanol is emerging as the leading alternative fuel to meet GHG reduction goals because of its easy-to-handle properties, making it attractive for both newbuilds and for refitting existing vessels. The infrastructure for ship supply can be adapted from existing infrastructure. All forms of methanol (natural-gas-based/low-carbon/renewable) can be blended. Therefore, it enables a reliable transition pathway to fully GHG-neutral cruise ships in the future.

Costa Toscana cruise ship

Over the years, Costa has been leading sustainable innovation in the cruise industry by pioneering advanced technologies onboard its existing and new ships. The company was the first to introduce LNG-liquefied natural gas propulsion for emission reduction with 4 ships already in service in the fleet. The majority of the Group's ships are equipped with shore power capabilities in order to be zero emissions in ports. Costa Group has also performed the first tests on biofuels.