Celebrity Cruises' 5th EDGE-class ship to boast Flex Fuel Engine able to use 3 types of fuel

   March 29, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

When Celebrity Cruises introduces the 5th ship in its revolutionary Edge Series, the newbuild will feature the collaborative efforts of parent company RCG-Royal Caribbean Group, technology group Wartsila, and the French shipbuilder Chantiers de L’Atlantique (STX France/Saint-Nazaire) to advance the use of alternative fuels for the industry.

The vessel (in November named "Celebrity Xcel") continues the innovation debuted with the Edge Series but will be equipped with a brand-new engine model, along with storage/delivery systems, that will give fuel flexibility, with the ability to use 3 types of fuel, including methanol.

Jason Liberty (RCG's President and CEO) said that as they innovated their ship design and offerings, they were also "focused on equally evolving the fuel and technology landscape that powers them."

“By incorporating tri-fueled engines, we are ensuring that as alternative, low-carbon-based solutions become more viable, our ships will be ready to adapt and drive the industry forward to a more sustainable and net zero emissions future.”

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (Celebrity's President and CEO) said that with the launch of their Edge Series of ships in 2018, they had set ambitious sustainability goals to make those ships the most energy-efficient large vessels at sea.

To allow for the fuel flexibility of the ship, Wartsila will deliver 2 converted 8-cylinder Wartsila 46F engines to allow them to utilize 3 fuel sources, including methanol. The changes not only advance carbon-free cruising - by adding methanol as a fuel option, local emissions like particulate matterŅ€ sulfur oxides (SOx), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are significantly reduced.

According to Hakan Agnevall (Wartsila's President and CEO), Wartsila had invested heavily in researching viable future carbon-neutral fuels for the marine industry, and methanol had emerged as one of the most promising candidates.

"This will be the second methanol-fueled engine conversion that we have undertaken, and the first with the Wartsila 46F engine. We share the commitment to decarbonize shipping, and the transparent partnership between our three companies for this newbuild project is a tremendous boost for achieving this aim.” 

Laurent Castaing (Chantiers de l’Atlantique's general manager) said the development and integration of methanol systems on a cruise ship was a new challenge for the shipyard and, for the first time, was part of their decarbonization program.

The order for the new engines was included in the Wartsila order book in January. The full scope includes a pair of 8-cylinder Wartsila 46F engines capable of operating with methanol as fuel, a pair of 12-cylinder Wartsila 46F engines, and 1 Wartsila 32 engine. 

Before commissioning, Wartsila will convert the 46F diesel engines to run on methanol.