Port of Marseille Fos and Costa Group sign research agreement

Port of Marseille Fos and Costa Group sign research agreement
The agreement was signed onboard Costa Smeralda as she made her maiden call to Marseille (Image: Costa Cruises)

The Port of Marseille Fos and the Costa Group have signed a new partnership agreement to fund a study to develop better technological solutions for improving the efficiency of energy systems and facilitating sustainable operations in port. To be carried out by the innovation cluster Pôle Mer Mediterranée (PMM), the study will also be supported by French government agency Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Énergie (ADEME).

The study will particularly focus on the implementation of a shore power system to enable cruise ships to connect to the power grid in Marseille. It will also explore the feasibility of a system at the port that would allow the simultaneous connection of two ships powered by renewable energy.

PMM, which aims to sustainably develop the maritime and coastal economy in the Mediterranean, will coordinate the research. The organisation will choose several companies suitable for the project and submit a roadmap for its realisation.

“With Costa Group and PMM, and the support of the ADEME, we are now taking another step in our common ambition to improve air quality in Marseille by mid-2024,” said Hervé Martel, CEO of the Port of Marseille Fos. “Through the research to be carried out within the framework of the study, we wish to implement a new dimension of our overall project of connecting passenger ships in the port of Marseille Fos, which will allow for the integration of additional locally produced renewable electricity generation on the port’s distribution grid.”

The agreement was signed onboard Costa Cruises’ Costa Smeralda, on her first visit to the port. Along with AIDA Cruises’ AIDAnova, she is one of two ships in Costa Group’s fleet to operate on LNG fuel. The group has also equipped 50% of its vessels with an electrical shore power connection and is planning to retrofit AIDA Cruises’ AIDAprima with lithium-ion batteries.

“Costa Group is committed to be the leader in sustainable cruising and we have been frontrunners in understanding the need to study, invest and implement sustainable innovation,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “The agreement we sign today is a further sign of our commitment to the Marseille community and of the strong cooperation we have built with the Port of Marseille. Together with our partners and all stakeholders, we want to accelerate the search for and the implementation of concrete sustainable solutions in Marseille.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
25 February 2020

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