Costa Group, part of Carnival Corporation and cruise operator of both Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises, and Proman, an industry-leading methanol producer, are teaming up to reduce carbon across the cruise industry. The two companies have signed an MOU to push for further implementation of methanol as the primary marine cruise for the entire cruising industry. 

This groundbreaking partnership’s primary goal is to expedite the transition to cleaner energy and toward decarbonization by increasing the accessibility to sustainable methanol. The two companies hope to create an easier pathway for existing cruise ships to make the switch to a cleaner fuel alternative, along with funding the production of methanol-fueled new builds. 

The newly signed MOU backs up the claim that methanol can potentially reduce GHG emissions in the cruise sector and various other shipping segments. This cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel eradicates airborne pollutants like particulate matter and sulfur oxides. This eco-friendly fuel is becoming more accessible and increasingly produced via lower-carbon, biogenic or hydrogen-based pathways. When methanol is used in fuel cells, it has the capacity to produce lifecycle zero emissions in the upcoming years. 

A leading and cleaner alternative, methanol is favored to meet GHG reduction goals due to its manageable properties. Both easy to use and environmentally friendly, methanol is alluring to both newly constructed builds and existing ships to transition to clean fuel. Methanol has also become one of the most commonly traded chemical commodities. All forms of methanol, whether low-carbon, renewable, or natural-gas based, can be mixed regardless of production pathways, which enables a dependable and straightforward avenue to fully GHG-neutral cruise ships in the near future. 

“The technology to retrofit a vessel to accept methanol as a fuel is available today.  Our methanol products can facilitate the transition to low carbon intensity fuels. Methanol-powered vessels have a proven track record of reducing and eliminating major greenhouse gas emissions, delivering immediate air quality improvements around major ports and shipping lanes. We are excited to bring our expertise along the full methanol value chain to help deliver on Costa Group’s bold ambitions” – said Tim Cornelius, Proman’s Managing Director of Corporate Development.

The Costa Group continues to lead the way in sustainable innovation in the cruise industry by investing in and creating new technology on board both new and existing ships. The Costa Group was the first company to implement liquified natural gas (LNG) propulsion for emission reduction. In fact, four existing ships in their fleet have already adopted this new technology. Most Costa Group vessels are fitted with shore power abilities to be zero emission in ports where the technology is accessible. Costa Group has also performed some of the first tests on biofuels. The launch of Costa Group’s partnership with Proman highlights the company’s commitment to transitioning the marine industry to cleaner and more sustainable fuel options. 

“We are reducing the carbon footprint of our fleet while at port and at sea, investing in advanced environmental technologies and partnering with companies such as Proman who share a passion for sustainable energy transition. By enabling cruise ships to use methanol as a propulsion fuel, Costa follows the ambition to take the next big step towards GHG neutral operations of our fleet by 2050” said Dr. Christoph Schladoer, VP Decarbonisation Costa Group.