The MS Mardi Gras has become the first cruise ship to bunker liquefied natural gas fuel in North America as the ship gets ready to return to sailing.
The ship made its U.S. debut docking for the first time at Port Canaveral last Friday.
The LNG bunkering took place at Mardis Gras homeport in Port Canaveral where the new Terminal 3 was constructed to accommodate the vessel. The process took close to eight hours using the new fueling barge, the QLNG 4000, that delivered enough LNG to power Mardi Gras’ four engines for approximately 14 days.
Built at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the U.S.-flagged QLNG 4000 is on longterm contract with Shell Trading Company to deliver LNG fuel to vessels in Port Canaveral, namely cruise ships.
Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of the LNGpowered Mardis Gras from Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland in December. At 180,000grosston, the ship can accommodate more than 5,200 guests and a crew of 2,000. LNG not only powers Mardi Gras’ propulsion systems utilizing Azipods, it’s used for all shipboard systems, from elevators, lighting and computers to galley equipment and even the “BOLT”, the first roller coaster at sea.
“Today was another milestone in what promises to be many ‘firsts’ for Mardi Gras. Many thanks to our partners at Shell and Port Canaveral for their role in bringing LNG to the Americas,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Carnival is looking to LNG as part of its overall sustainability and environmental strategy that also include advanced waste water treatment systems, advanced air quality systems (aka “scrubbers”), shore power connection, and comprehensive waste management, recycling and energy conservation programs.
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