LNG First For Cruise Ship

LNG barge

Published Jun 2, 2015 9:17 PM by Wendy Laursen

A cruise ship received environmentally friendly power from an LNG hybrid barge for the first time when Becker Marine Systems’ barge, Hummel, provided 7.5 megawatts of low-emission power to AIDAsol during its layover at port in Hamburg on May 30.

“With this successful premiere, the Port of Hamburg is serving as a global role model,” said Henning Kuhlmann, a managing director of Becker Marine Systems. “Credit is also due to our partner AIDA Cruises, who were deeply involved in this technically challenging project.”

Up until now, only a few other ships have been able to receive power from such a barge. “Nevertheless, to improve air quality at port cities preferably all modern seagoing vessels should be able to do this in future,” said Kuhlmann.

The 76.7m long and 11.4m wide barge developed and operated by the Hamburg-based company works like a floating power plant that generates power via a gas container filled with 15 tons of LNG. In the gas processing plant, the cryogenic liquid is heated and then passed on to five gas Caterpillar motors on the barge.

Compared to conventional marine diesel with 0.1 percent sulfur content, the barge emits no sulfur dioxides or soot. Emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide are also significantly reduced. It is thus already deemed the cleanest option for providing shoreside electrical power cold ironing to cruise ships, says Kuhlmann. 

Becker Marine Systems is planning to extend operations by offering the environmentally friendly LNG technology to container ships, bulkers and tankers as well in the future.

"With this, so far unique worldwide pilot project for the energy supply of cruise ships using LNG during idle periods, we have opened a new, forward-looking chapter on environmental protection in the port of Hamburg," said AIDA President Michael Ungerer.

In spring 2016, the first of AIDA’s new generation ships will be homeported in Hamburg. Aida Prima is the first cruise ship that has both a shore power connection, a comprehensive system for exhaust after-treatment and a dual fuel engine. The vessel may, depending on availability, be operated on LNG fuel.

A recent study by Hong Kong authorities estimates that only 35 international cruise ships, about 16 percent, are expected to be equipped to use shore power.