From Turku to Toscana
Works for the construction of Costa Smeralda’s sister ship, Costa Crociere’s second LNG-powered ship, have started in Finland
Turku (Finland) – Meyer Turku (Finland) shipyard started the construction of Costa Crociere’s second LNG-powered ship Costa Toscana, designed by Adam Tihany.
During the traditional steel cutting ceremony, the machinery was set in motion by pushing a computer key in a state-of-the-art remote control room rather than by pushing a machine’s button.
This novelty is one of the results of the significant investments, both in technological machines and technological softwares, made by the Meyer Werft shipyard, which definitely benefited from the maxi-orders placed by the Carnival group.
Costa Toscana will be the sister ship of Costa Smeralda, to be delivered in October, with its first cruise scheduled for the 20th, from Hamburg to Savona.
Costa Toscana will enter into service in May 2021 to be deployed in the Western Mediterranean sea, where Barcelona is the only port providing LNG supplies.
Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer reported several figures: the shipyard recently invested 200 million euro in new machineries and production lines, including more efficient and precise steel cutting machines, with a significant integration of softwares controlling them.
“We are strengthening the whole team. Turku currently boasts over 2,000 employees, only half of whom are blue collars, but we are planning 200 additional recruitments per year, with an increasing number of white collars”, Meyer CEO explained.
Costa Crociere general manager Neil Palomba voiced his satisfaction: “We are pleased with works progress in Turku. Being a prototype, Costa Smeralda’s construction is characterized by both novelties and difficulties. With Costa Toscana, we strengthen our commitment to sustainability”.
In fact, figures are very satisfactory: in 2018, Carnival Corporation already reduced its carbon footprint impact by 27.6%, exceeding the 25% provided for 2020. As concerns Advanced Air Quality Systems, 77 ships belonging to the group are currently using more than 220 scrubbers, with 85 ships and over 400 installed scrubbers scheduled within 2020.
With regards to LNG ships, the gross tonnage of the sister ships Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana amounts to 180,000 tons, with a capacity of 2,600 cabins each. The orders related to the 2 units form part of a significant expansion plan of the Costa group, including also the AIDA brand, providing for seven new ships to be delivered within 2023, for an overall investment of over 6 billion euro.
Palomba also referred to the Chinese market: “Our ships deployed in China are doing very well, and this resulted in more Chinese passengers in Europe: in the first quarter of 2020, Chinese passengers already represent the most significant share of the total reservations by foreign customers for Costa Smeralda”.
Palomba also acknowledged the pressure related to prices, confirming the strategic agreement entered into with Shell for LNG supplies.
Finally, Palomba confirmed that they are planning to rely more on the port of Genoa: “We are negotiating with Port Authority, Municipality and Region. We are aware of the current lack of space, but we are trying to find feasible solutions”.
As concerns Savona, despite the slight delays, the manager believes that by the end of the summer dredging works will be completed. In any case, the christening ceremony of the ship Smeralda will be held in Costa Crociere’s home port on November the 3rd.