Italian energy company Enel has signed a memorandum of understanding with Costa Crociere to promote sustainable maritime mobility through electrification solutions.
The agreement will focus on the possibility of promoting projects to reduce emissions when cruise ships enter and leave ports and during quayside stops, with innovative solutions that provide a further opportunity to accelerate the cruise sector’s energy transition, particularly through electrification.
“By combining our respective skills, we intend to propose a virtuous model for maritime transport, with benefits not only for cruise passengers but also for the entire port system, which would thus see ship emissions and noise pollution reduced or eliminated,” said Nicola Lanzetta, Enel’s Director for Italy.
In particular, the protocol aims to carry out a ship refitting ‘pilot case,’ i.e., technological improvement interventions on a ship already in operation, aimed at zeroing local emissions in the phases of entry, stop and exit from the port.
The first stage of this collaboration will be to refit the ship with a battery power supply combined with a shore power and electric recharging system. The aim of the refitting will be to transform a Costa cruise ship into a zero-emission ship from its entry into port until its exit, including the hours it remains stationary on the quayside, in total about half of its operating day.
Furthermore, the protocol concerns the promotion of advocacy activities aimed at simplifying and incentivizing energy efficiency, electrification, and renewable energy production in ports, especially in port areas within city environments. One of the activities concerns the so-called ‘cold ironing,’ i.e., the supply of power to ships through the electrification of the shore network during port stops. For this, cruise ships are already preparing – with about one-third of the Costa fleet ready now – in advance of the ‘cold ironing’ projects in the main Italian and Mediterranean ports, which have not yet been implemented.
Enel and Costa Crociere have announced that they also intend to promote sustainable tourism, through the development of initiatives related to sustainable electric mobility, in both the port and city areas, aimed at progressively reducing noise and atmospheric emissions, including from cruise-related activities such as shore excursions or intermodal connections between cities and ports.
“Costa has been a pioneer in the sustainable evolution of the cruise sector, for example, by introducing liquefied natural gas,” said Mario Zanetti, General Manager of Costa Crociere. “In order to take a further step forward and offer concrete answers to the challenges of the future, linked to an ever-increasing decrease in environmental impact, it is essential to work together with Italian companies such as Enel, which share our vision and have the right skills to help us move forward.”
“Our ambition is to introduce a new generation of ships operating with zero net emissions by 2050. But this is not all. Since we see the ship as an integral part of the territory, the transport activities ancillary to cruises, which take place in port and in the city, will also have to be increasingly sustainable.”
The companies have announced that the collaboration may also be extended abroad in the countries where the two groups are present, in particular Spain.