Full Steam Ahead – Toward a Greener Future

AIDAnova to be first cruise ship powered by LNG – with KNF gas pumps for safety

The AIDAnova doesn’t look especially revolutionary at first glance. It has the same design as its twelve sister ships, right down to the distinctive lips painted on the bow. But this floating hotel is the first ship in the world to be powered by LNG, making it a trailblazer for environmental protection on the seas.

Maritime travel is currently responsible for around a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions — around 3 percent of all CO2 emissions from human activities. But tighter regulations are coming into play. Meyer Werft and the engine manufacturer Caterpillar have kept pace with the changing times by taking an innovative approach to the thirteenth AIDA cruise ship. The drive technology meets stringent environmental regulations and every aspect of the engineering is centered around energy efficiency.


Similarly high standards were required of the suppliers, among them KNF Neuberger GmbH from Freiburg, Germany. The international market leader’s diaphragm pumps will be hard at work when the AIDAnova sets sail, monitoring the LNG supply to ensure safe operation. The gas control system from the company GenSys comprises control and safety equipment to ensure safe combustion at a predetermined rate.


Each safety module contains two KNF N 0150.1.2 membrane pumps — one of which is redundant, so that operation will continue if the other fails. The engine control system carries out continuous gas leak testing. The pump draws air from the clearance between the two walls of the jacketed LNG pipe and transfers this to the pressure and gas sensor for testing. The aluminum pump head parts are anodized to account for the corrosive effect of the sea air.

The KNF N 0150.1.2 pump is designed to be protected against explosion in accordance with ATEX, and both the internal and engine explosion protection meet the ATEX requirements. The pump motor meets the criteria of all necessary maritime certifications: RINA, GL, Germanischer Lloyd, BV. All pump head components that come into contact with the medium have also been approved in accordance with the major marine certifications.


This will ensure safe and secure transfer of LNG, around 3,500 cubic meters per tank filling, enabling AIDA Cruises’ new flagship to travel for up to two weeks at a time with significantly lower emissions than conventional cruise ships. Captain Becker and his crew will set sail in December with as many as 5,000 passengers on a green maiden voyage to the Canary Islands.

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