Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - 16:15 by ce-press
Infrastructure too came under the spotlight, with onshore power (OPS) being a hot topic but one which is not a must-have for all ports as Puttich noted: “OPS is only one part of a lot of things to look at.” And Blitza explained that: “OPS is not the only choice of why we go to a port”.
Over at Viking Cruises, executive director Nicolai Skogland, said that the fleet is OPS-ready and will plug in wherever it is possible, “even though it’s a higher cost, especially in northern European ports.” In this case, he encouraged ports to provide incentives such as the EPI.
With the advent of LNG and the constant research for alternative fuels, there are different ways of a ship being in port whilst reducing the carbon footprint. Looking to the future Linden Coppell, vp sustainability & ESG MSC Cruises, explained: “Using a fuel cell [which generates energy whereas a battery stores energy] potentially can replace a combustion engine.
“On [LNG-powered] MSC World Europa there is a very small fuel cell unit just to demonstrate what it can do, so that when we are coming to a place without OPS, we can still be zero emissions. We will still need a combustion engine for propulsion but not for the hotel load.” She added that fuel cells can operate on hydrogen and hence are “part of the road map to zero”.
When it comes to alternative fuels, whether methanol, liquid hydrogen, biofuel etc, Coppell was keen to point out: “We don’t want to end up with a net zero ship but having shipped stuff from all over the world [ie causing problems elsewhere].”
James Langley, operations director, Saga Cruises, voiced the importance of the stakeholders getting involved in dialogue now for future energy needs. And Coppell stated that as the whole energy transition will happen, it is important to “put infrastructure in place and not to worry about where the energy comes from, because it will be green”. Reassuringly she added: “We will still go to ports without and use our own energy.”
Sascha Gill, vp sustainability and environment at CLIA, which has committed to being net carbon zero by 2050, demonstrated the enormity of the work being undertaken in terms of alternative fuels when he said: “A single future fuel that will be used in 2050 has not been found yet”. And one of CE chairman Michael McCarthy’s takeaways from the day’s discussions was that: “To get to 2050, it is more a suite of solutions, rather than one.”
When it comes to offloading waste in ports, Blitza was keen to point out that there is a lot of room for development and would like to see new vendors with new ideas/technology re recycling, reusing etc: “We would be interested in more dialogue with vendors in the region.”