© Reuters. COSTA, THE LEADING EUROPEAN CRUISE, IT PROMISES TO LEAVE MARSEILLE BREATHE
MARSEILLE (Reuters) – The group Costa, the european leader of the cruise, and the Grand port maritime of Marseille (GPMM) pledged Tuesday to reduce the environmental impact of ships at berth, pollution is denounced by associations for the defense of nature.
The Italian company and the port will deploy technologies of gas cleaning (“scrubber”) to remove up to 97.1% of the sulfur dioxide and approximately 90% of fine particles on the ships which are so equipped.
“We don’t want to be a threat,” said to the press the CEO of the group Costa, Michael Thamm.
The director-general of the GPMM, Christine Cabau Woehrel, has announced that a classification society international would measure the impact of these devices.
“The economic activities related to the cruise must register in the environmental ambitions, which do not grow,” she said during the same press conference.
The group Costa is also committed to deploy ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), of which the first copy out of the construction sites in finland, the Costa Smeralda, is due in April 2019 at Marseille.
The Italian company, of which 27 vessels are the property of the group Carnival (LON:CCL), the largest operator in the world on the cruise market, said to have already reduced by one-third the energy consumption on board of vessels, each representing a town of 6,000 people.
The port of Marseille was the first in France to install a system of electrical connection for the ferries, which provide ferry crossings between Corsica and the mainland, a device that could ultimately be applied to cruise ships to go from the motor to the power supply “without break of service” on board.
A “paradigm shift” that the group Costa said to have already taken into account with a majority of the ships of its fleet, able technically to connect electrically to the dock.
“We have 300 points of call in Europe, but only one – Hamburg – has the power to dock”, said Michael Thamm.
Several associations for the protection of nature are alarmées last summer from the air pollution generated by the approximately 460 stopovers annual giants of the sea in Marseille.
In July 2017, France nature environment (FNE) estimated the number of fine particles in the air up to 100 times more elevated in the vicinity of the port than elsewhere in the city.
The French Leader on the market of the cruise, Marseille has hosted the last year 1,486 million passengers, an overall decrease of 7% with the loss of 46 stops and 300,000 passengers.
A decline in “cyclical”, which should be gummed in 2018 with an expected traffic of 1.75 million passengers, almost 18% increase, and 513 stopovers serviced by 88 different ships operated by 31 companies.
Marseille was thrilled with fourth place in the mediterranean cruise market in Venice, which has put a brake on the development of the sector for environmental reasons.
According to figures released in march 2017 by the Cruise Lines International Association France (CLIA), France, Germany remains the leader in a european market growth of 3.4% in 2016, to 6,674 million passengers, ahead of the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain.
(Jean-Francois Rosnoblet, edited by Yves Clarisse)