AIDA’s Monika Griefahn Christens LNG Barge in Hamburg

The world’s first LNG hybrid barge was christened “Hummel” today at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity in Hamburg. The godmother of the floating LNG power plant for environmentally friendly energy supply of cruise ships was Dr. Monika Griefahn, chief sustainability officer at AIDA Cruises. The co-founder of Greenpeace Germany and former Minister of Environment of Lower Saxony has been involved in sustainability and environmental protection for more than 30 years.

“With this pilot project, we are setting an example for environmental and climate protection, not only for the city of Hamburg but also for the entire maritime industry,” said AIDA President Michael Ungerer. “With the LNG hybrid barge, we have demonstrated that environmental protection and economic interests are not a contradiction for us.”

Thanks to the use of the floating LNG power plant, emissions and particle discharge will be significantly reduced. The cruise line stated that compared to the use of conventional marine diesel with 0.1 percent sulfur content, no sulfur oxides and no soot particles are emitted. Nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced by up to 80 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent.

As part of the inaugural event, the plug connection between the LNG hybrid barge and AIDAsol was successfully tested. With the start of the new cruise season in the spring of 2015, it is planned to supply the AIDAsol for the first time with electricity produced from liquefied natural gas (LNG) while it is berthed in the port of Hamburg.

All ships of the AIDA fleet which were put into service in 2007 or later are already prepared for the use of shore power. Since 2007 the company has voluntarily used only marine diesel with 0.1 percent sulfur content for the production of energy on board its fleet in the Port of Hamburg. This has been required by law for all seagoing vessels in European ports only since 2010.
In the summer of 2013, the company said it adopted an additional investment program in the amount of 100 million euro for the use of state-of-the-art environmental technologies. The core of the program is a comprehensive filter system for reducing exhaust gas emissions. With this technology for exhaust treatment, according to AIDA, emissions of soot particles, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides will be reduced by 90 to 99 percent. It is not just the two new AIDA ships that will be put into service in 2015 and 2016 that will be equipped with this technology developed within the Carnival Group. The ships of the existing fleet will also be gradually retrofitted with this filter system.

In the spring of 2016, the first ship of the new AIDA generation, AIDAprima, will be moored for the first time in its future home port of Hamburg.

AIDAprima is the first cruise ship with a shore power connection, a comprehensive system for exhaust gas after-treatment, and a dual fuel engine. This can be operated with conventional fuel or LNG, depending on availability.

(Photo: Left: Michael Ungerer, president of AIDA; center: Dr. Monika Griefahn, chief sustainability officer.)