The Cruise Division of MSC Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique today celebrated the delivery of the new MSC World Europa, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ship and one of the first to incorporate fuel cell technology.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “We are proud to welcome to our fleet MSC World Europa, our 20th ship and the first to be LNG-powered. This groundbreaking vessel represents the next phase in our journey toward net zero and sustainable cruising and a symbol of our unwavering commitment to both.
“MSC World Europa represents a major step forward for our Cruise Division, the entire MSC Group, and our industry, with a range of unprecedented innovations in terms of environmental and marine technologies, design and guest-centric features. This is the result of more than four years of work between us, builders Chantiers de l’Atlantique and numerous leading providers of next-generation environmental and maritime technologies and solutions as well as many thousands of hours of training for those onboard and at ports.
“Now more than ever we need closer cooperation from suppliers, Governments and others to complement our continued investments and take further steps towards the zero emissions future we all desire. The innovative technologies we create here to use on our vessels can benefit all of society not just the cruise industry or the shipping sector overall.”
Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said: “We have reached a new stage in the cruise industry with MSC World Europa, the largest ship ever built for a European shipowner. She is equipped with all the latest technologies to offer the passengers an unprecedented cruising experience. From a technological standpoint MSC World Europa, which is equipped with an LNG propulsion system, present a new level of performance and efficiency of the cruise industry. This represents a major milestone in minimising emissions as MSC World Europa is the least emitting ship of the entire cruise industry.”
MSC World Europa is the world’s first contemporary cruise ship to feature brand new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship will include a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that will use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board in a highly efficient way by means of an electrochemical reaction. It will be a testbed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for contemporary cruise ships and offers a potential to enable hybrid propulsion solutions in the future.
Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability & ESG, MSC Cruises, said: “We anticipate SOFC will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases substantially compared with conventional LNG engine without producing emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also has the advantage of not only being compatible with LNG, but also with low and zero carbon fuels such as green methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen. We could also in the future transition to synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels.”
Vago added: “We chose LNG for the very clear reason that it is the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, a transitional fuel as we look ahead to source and use synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels as soon as they become available at scale.”