Over three-quarters of the global cruise fleet by passenger capacity is now equipped to use alternative fuels in addition to liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to a report released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and produced by Oxford Economics.
Alternative fuel sources to heavy fuel oils being developed include biodiesel, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, and electric batteries.
According to the CLIA Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Inventory and associated Environmental Report, there remain engineering, supply, and regulatory hurdles before the large-scale adoption of such fuels can take place, but the cruise industry’s growing investment in new ships is facilitating the research and development of these fuels.
The association’s annual report shows continued commitment to responsible tourism practices and progress on development and implementation of new environmental technologies.
“While cruise has been one of the sectors most acutely impacted by the global pandemic, cruise lines remain at the forefront of the challenge to develop new environmental technologies which benefit the entire shipping industry,” said CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead.
According to CLIA President’s president, the cruise industry is committed to pursuing net carbon neutral cruising by 2050.
“CLIA and our ocean-going members are investing in new technologies and cleaner fuels now to realise this ambition,” she added.
On his part, CLIA Global Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, said the association has joined other maritime organisations to propose a $5 billion IMO research and development fund to accelerate the development of zero GHG fuels and propulsion technologies.
“The cruise industry is an enabler of green maritime innovation, which will be the key to decarbonization of shipping,” he highlighted.
CLIA member cruise lines have committed to a 40 percent reduction in the rate of carbon emissions across the global fleet by 2030, compared to 2008, consistent with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) carbon intensity reduction level of ambition.
The report notes that CLIA ocean-going cruise lines continue to make substantial progress across a range of areas:
• Shore-side Power Capability – cruise lines continue to make significant investments for cruise ships to connect to shoreside electricity, thus allowing engines to be switched off in port.
– 82 percent of the new build capacity is either committed to be fitted with shore-side electricity capability or will be configured to add shore-side power in the future.
– 35 percent of global capacity (up 2.3 percentage point since 2020) are fitted to operate on shore-side electricity in the 14 ports worldwide where that capability is provided in at least one berth.
• LNG Fuel – The 2021 report found 52 percent of new build capacity will rely on LNG fuel for primary propulsion, a 3-percentage point increase in overall capacity compared to 2020.
• Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) – More than 76 percent of global capacity utilizes EGCS to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, representing an increase in capacity of 7 percentage points compared to 2020.
• Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems – 100 percent of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems and currently 74 percent of the CLIA oceangoing cruise line fleet capacity is served by advanced wastewater treatment systems (an increase of 4 percentage points over 2020).
CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community.