Asian shipyards’ entry into the cruise ship market is a “bit of a challenge”, Meyer Turku chief executive Jan Meyer told Passenger Ship Technology – as he also revealed that the shipyard was investigating using new fuels in cruise ships.
Speaking at the steel-cutting of Costa Cruises’ Costa Smeralda at Meyer Turku, he told Passenger Ship Technology in an interview that there are combined discussions with ship operators and oil majors about the use of fuels other than LNG, including methanol. But he warned there were challenges to the deployment of these fuels: “The challenge is the infrastructure and how to get the fuel to the ship as well as having an awareness of the source of the fuel; how much energy it takes to refine, bring it to the ship and consume it [from well to wake] so we are taking a holistic view.”
The cruise ships that Meyer Turku will deliver to Royal Caribbean Cruises in 2022 and 2024 particularly stand out in terms of environmental technology as they will combine LNG power with the application of fuel cells for power generation.
LNG is something the shipyard is particularly keen on – Meyer Turku and sister shipyard Meyer Werft have nine ships on its orderbook that are all LNG-fuelled, including Costa Smeralda. “We do see very strongly that there are more and more LNG orders,” Mr Meyer said, pointing out that the majority of the yard’s cruise orderbook is for LNG-fuelled ships (seven ships for Carnival Corp and two for Royal Caribbean).
On the subject of Asian shipyards entering the cruise ship newbuild sector, he said that while Meyer shipyards were “ahead in technology and productivity”, Asia’s shipyards pay higher wages and get a lot of government support. Therefore “that is a bit of a challenge as there is not a level playing field.”
He added “But we just really need to do our homework, we can’t sit still.”