NCL’s Two Prima-plus Class Newbuilds To Be Methanol Ready

Mar 01, 2023

Since 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has incorporated methanol as a future marine fuel in its strategy and is now planning to introduce two cruise ships that can run on methanol for the first time. The last two ships in NCL's Prima class will be equipped with technology that can easily be converted to run on methanol without significant effort. NCL has announced that the new construction order for the two ships in the Prima Plus class, with delivery in 2026 and 2027, has been changed accordingly, allowing the ships' engines to use methanol as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Only minor technological adjustments will be required for the use of methanol.

NCL's CEO, Harry Sommer, had previously announced plans to initiate various tests and projects to explore how methanol could be used on existing ships, such as converting machines to work in dual-fuel operations with marine diesel or methanol. The possibility of using methanol during port stops is also considered, as AIDA had done during its development towards LNG before it became operational.

“While additional modifications will be needed in the future to fully enable the use of methanol in addition to traditional marine fuel on these ships, this reinforces the company’s commitment to decarbonization and represents an important step forward in the pursuit of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” NCLH said in a statement.

Norwegian Cruise Line successfully tested the use of biofuels as a 30 percent admixture to marine diesel (MGO) on three of its ships, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Epic.