LNG cruise ship fleet expected at PortMiami
PortMiami expects an influx of liquefied natural gas-powered cruise ships to arrive through 2027, and Miami-Dade commissioners want Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s office to consider how best to meet the needs. new ships.
Commissioners in committee this month unanimously presented a resolution from Rebeca Sosa that would order Ms Levine Cava’s administration to report within four months on the port’s current readiness to welcome the new ships. , what else needs to be done, what is the cost of these things. and the relative environmental advantages of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over other alternative fuels.
The point is the subject of a final vote by the entire Miami-Dade Commission on June 2.
Industry leader Carnival Corp. accepted delivery of the Mardi Gras cruise ship in December from Finnish manufacturer Meyer Turku. The plan was then for the ship to enter service in April as the first LNG-fueled cruise ship to operate in North America.
According to a note accompanying Ms. Sosa’s resolution, this remains the plan. Carnival’s second LNG-fueled ship, the Celebration, will make its PortMiami debut in November 2022 at the company’s expanded cruise terminal F, which debuted in January.
As of March, more than two dozen LNG-fueled cruise ships were on order for delivery within six years. Buyers include Carnival, Royal Caribbean Group, MSC Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line.
Ship operators see LNG as a kind of midpoint between traditional oil-heavy “bunker” fuel and a way to fuel their ships with zero emissions.
LNG carriers emit around 20 to 30% less carbon dioxide than traditional marine fuels while providing the same propulsive power. A 2018 study by the University of Texas at Austin found that LNG significantly removes particulates from ship exhaust gases and reduces sulfur emissions by 99% and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85%.
However, scientists have expressed concerns about the leakage of methane, a major component of LNG that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, according to the US Department of Energy, and could ultimately have a greater environmental impact than traditional fuels.
A complete transition from conventional fuel to carbon-free energy is still a long way off for the maritime industry, which in total emits around 3% of all greenhouse gases on the planet – a figure that will increase by a further 1 , 5% if the industry continues to grow unabated. , according to the International Maritime Organization, a specialized agency within the United Nations.
The cost of zero emissions is high. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Martin Stopford, chairman of the London-based analytics and data management group Clarkson Research, said at a decarbonizing shipping forum this year that the shift to non-carbonated fuels carbon base could cost shipping industries over $ 3 trillion combined.
The cruise industry alone, he said, could pay more than $ 357 billion.
In April, the World Bank released a report advising governments against supporting LNG and that countries should “avoid new public policies that support LNG as a bunker fuel, reconsider existing political support, and continue to regulate methane emissions. “.
Through various agreements with its cruise partners, including a 62-year, multibillion-dollar agreement with cruise ships at MSC’s home port, PortMiami is contractually obligated to provide LNG accommodations.
PortMiami has also assembled a working group to study how to safely operate LNG business in the port.