Carnival Corporation will not retrofit any of its cruise ships to burn LNG as a fuel to meet the IMO’s low sulfur regulations, according to Tom Strang, the Group’s Senior Vice President – Maritime Affairs.
He was speaking at a panel discussion at the Global Maritime Environmental Congress (gmec) held within the SMM trade fair in Hamburg earlier this month.
Strang explained that the cruise sector is investing heavily in new technology, including LNG as a fuel.
However, the company, which has 11 vessels on order in its various brands, which will operate on LNG, has no plans to retrofit existing ships to run on natural gas. Strang said that, although this is technical possible, finding space to fit an LNG tank on board a ship would prove difficult.
“Taking tank space means converting existing space. We still need some of the conventional liquid fuels, we need the water ballast space, we need the fresh water space, so it means that you are eating into revenue generation space,” he reportedly said. “There’s lots of things you can do, but what makes business sense at the end of the day is another thing.”
Speaking about the option of installing exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers) on board, Strang said that shipowners that opt for scrubbers could soon “be looking for a fuel which might not be as widely available as it is today.”
He explained that Carnival Corp, which has already fitted 62% of its existing fleet with exhaust gas cleaning systems, currently bunkers about 3.2 mill tonnes of fuel in about 150 different port.
“We have to make sure that the fuel we need is going to be available in most locations. But that is something our industry is really good at – being prepared. Compliance is clearly going to be an issue. We want to make sure that the right fuels are available in the right places.
“Today you have a choice, you have to make your decision. Most of us from the cruise segment have chosen LNG for the moment. It is not going to be the silver bullet for everything else, but of course, we are working on alternative technologies.
“The simple answer is – you have to plan, you have to prepare, and you have to make sure that you are ready and the locations you visit are ready,” Strang concluded.