The world’s largest cruise ship ‘Icon of the Seas’ has set out for its maiden voyage. It left for Mumbai with 10,000 passengers. But environmental groups worry it could emit harmful methane into the atmosphere.
Ship Features: Royal Caribbean’s ‘Icon of the Seas’ launches from Miami’s PT. The ship has 2800 staterooms and fills 20 decks, accommodating 7600 passengers. Making it five times larger than the Titanic. The ship is designed to use pure liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which burns faster than conventional marine fuels.
Price: Royal Caribbean is shelling out $2 billion to launch Icon, with the average state room price ranging from $3,500 to $100,000 depending on the price scale.
Methane issue: Due to the possibility of methane being released from ship engines, it is being called methane slip causing problems in the atmosphere. Royal Caribbean claims the new ship is 24% more efficient than the International Maritime Transport Organization requirement, but its methane emissions are causing problems.
According to industry experts, using LNG actually produces 100–120% higher life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions than GSOL compared to running on the fuel currently in use. In this case, the problem of methane slipping during travel arises.
Need for pollution control: As per International Maritime Transport Organization guidelines, in an effort to reduce pollution, 63% of the 54 ships are expected to run on LNG in the coming 4 years. Royal Caribbean has announced that it will use different types of fuel depending on the market and the ultimate goal is ‘net zero’