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AIDA Cruises targets LNG bunkers in Barcelona for newest ship 'before the summer is out'

Cruise operator says it is also in talks with other Mediterranean ports regarding the provision of LNG fuel.

Updated on 09 Jun 2017 09:14 GMT

AIDA Cruises says it aims to have its newest vessel, the AIDAperla, bunkered with liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the port of Barcelona "before the summer is out".

The Carnival Corporation cruise brand says it is working with local authorities and other partners so that the AIDAperla is supplied with LNG while docked at Europe's leading cruise port. The vessel operator also confirmed that it is in talks with other Mediterranean locations regarding LNG bunkering.

The 9,700-deadweight-tonne (dwt), dual-fuel AIDAperla arrived in Barcelona on June 7 and is due to be christened in Palma de Mallorca on June 30. Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca are the start and end ports for the vessel's upcoming seven-day cruises in the western Mediterranean.

The AIDAperla is the second of two AIDA Cruises vessels in the Hyperion-class series, together with its sister-ship, the AIDAprima. Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), both cruise ships are the largest to have been constructed in Japan.

The AIDAperla is driven by three Caterpillar 12V M43C diesel units, each with 12,670 hp. It also has one dual-fuel Caterpillar M46DF engine with 11,650 hp and a Caterpillar 3516B generator with 2,250 kW of power.

The AIDAprima was the first cruise ship to be built that can be operated on LNG whilst in port. The AIDAperla will be the second cruise ship worldwide that, thanks to its dual-fuel engine, will be able to produce onboard power from LNG while docked - accounting for some 40 percent of its operating time.

Last year, Shell was named as an exclusive strategic partner of AIDA Cruises for the supply of LNG to both the AIDAprima and the AIDAperla. It was followed in October by a framework agreement signed between Shell and Carnival to supply the US firm's AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands with fuel for two new LNG-powered ships expected to launch in 2019 with itineraries visiting ports in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean.

Since May 2016, the AIDAprima is said to have been provided with LNG in all five ports of its northern Europe cruise destinations: Hamburg, Southampton, Le Havre, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

Carnival in Barcelona

Carnival is due to launch its second cruise terminal at the port of Barcelona in 2018. The company is investing more than 30 million euros in the state-of-the-art facility, which paired with its existing terminal at the port represents its largest combined terminal investment in Europe.

Next year, eight Carnival brands - AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises (UK) - are scheduled to visit Barcelona.

Carnival's deployment of LNG-fuelled ships to Europe's leading cruise port supports the city's Air Quality Improvement Plan - proposed in November 2016 to effectively reduce emissions from port activities.

In total, Carnival Corporation has agreements in place to build seven fully LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its 10 cruise brands in the coming years.

From 2021, AIDA Cruises is set to be the world's first cruise company capable of powering its new generation of ships entirely with LNG.

Related Links:

Barcelona's new cruise terminal to accommodate LNG-fuelled ships
Scrubbers installed on 60 Carnival ships
Shell signs deal with Carnival to supply world's first fully LNG-powered cruise ships
Shell in LNG supply tie-up with AIDA Cruises

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