Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' 500-passenger Europa 2 has been "certified" by the maritime classification society DNV CL for its connection and long-time use of "cold ironing," a maritime term that means plugging into shore power from the local, land-based power grid while in port.
Europa 2 has been using cold ironing for an extensive period—30 days while docked during down time due to the global pandemic—at Hamburg's Altona Cruise Center. That's estimated to have saved an estimated 600 tons of carbon dioxide from being discharged into the atmosphere.
Europa 2 requires 2.2 megawatts of power per hour during its lay time, reducing ship emissions to nearly zero. The shore power/electricity used is being supplied by Hamburg Energie and comes from 100 percent renewable resources.
“We are glad that we have been able to make such valuable use of this forced break by driving forward cold ironing and the certification of the Europa 2," says Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. "The fact that a cruise ship has used cold ironing over a long period of time in Hamburg is an important and unprecedented experience."
Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is storing the Europa 2 power data for future stops. The compatibility of the cold ironing connection at the Cruise Center in Altona was adjusted by HPA, as the small Europa 2 requires a lower voltage than the other cruise ships that are using cold ironing there. The settings can be easily duplicated any time the luxury ship makes a stop at the port in future.
All new ships in Hapag-Lloyd Cruise's fleet are equipped for cold ironing. Pojer says that successful use of cold ironing is another important part of the line's environmental strategy. "We use marine gas oil with a low 0.1 percent sulphur content in the whole fleet, all over the world, thereby going beyond the legal requirements," he says.
By using the low-pollutant fuel marine gas oil with a sulphur content of 0.1 percent (low-sulphur marine gas oil), the sulphur emissions of the line's fleet will be cut by 80 percent, it said in a press release.
The line's switch to marine gas oil also means a reduction in soot and particulates of up to 30 percent. In addition, itinerary routes are planned with an environmentally efficient average speed. By not pushing the vessels to go as fast as possible, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises says fuel consumption is cut by 30 percent, also lowering emissions.