The cruise company Aida Cruises has announced a cooperation with the Norwegian-Canadian battery manufacturer Corvus Energy. Aida Cruises intends to use electrical energy from battery storage systems on board large ships.
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The aim is to further reduce the consumption of fossil fuel and significantly increase the efficiency of ship operation. However, the cruise operator did not quantify the savings potential in the communication; in fact the company has not yet responded to a corresponding demand. Just this much: it is planned to incorporate the findings from this pilot operation into the use of battery systems on board further cruise ships of Aida and Costa.
In the case of the retrofitted battery systems, the electricity is not used for propulsion but to cover the remaining energy requirements onboard; Namely for the cabins, kitchens, shops and entertainment facilities. This is why the energy requirements of large cruise ships are also enormous even while in the port, as the engines continue to run at a reduced rate to generate the electricity. By the end of 2020, the shipping company plans to convert 12 out of 14 ships so that they can obtain electricity from land in the port – provided the port offers this. Aida then wants to start test operations at the shore-side power plants planned for 2020 in Rostock and Kiel, and a corresponding offer in Hamburg-Altona (if supported by the ship) has been used since 2017.
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“Our goal is the emissions-neutral ship operation,” says Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “The electrification of our ships is another important milestone on this path.” In addition to Corvus Energy, which is to develop the energy storage systems, ABB and Siemens are other partners in the project.
Overall, the shipping company is striving to reduce emissions from its cruise fleet. At the end of 2018, the AIDAnova was the first ship with a pure liquefied gas propulsion system to enter service. By the end of 2023, “ninety-four per cent of all AIDA guests” are expected to be travelling on ships that can run entirely on low-emission liquefied petroleum gas or, where possible, on green shore power in the port.
This, however, will not change the fact that the pollutant emissions of cruise ships remain extremely high and that the ships cause other environmental problems in some places worthy of protection.
Update 23.09.2019: Now, following the above announcement, a first concrete order has been made: Corvus Energy is to install a battery system with a capacity of 10 MWh on the AIDAperla next year. Upon signing the deal with AIDA, the CEO of Corvus Energy Geir Bjørkeli said: “We are deeply honoured to be selected by AIDA and Costa Cruises as their ESS supplier. This first contract for AIDAperla is also very special. It is not only the largest battery pack ever ordered; it is also the first regular cruise vessel with battery on board,” Bjørkeli added. “The cruise industry is seeing the potential in energy storage as the benefits are numerous—not only for emission reductions but also for comfort and safety reasons,” Bjørkeli continued. “What AIDA does, will lead the way for others. We are impressed by the initiatives shown by Costa and AIDA Cruises to reduce the emissions from their fleet.”