This month, ‘MSC World Europa’ utilised shore power at Valletta, Malta – the first operational shore power facility to be made available in the Mediterranean.
MSC Cruises explained that it is committed to using shore power, wherever it is available, as an integral part of the company’s journey towards net zero greenhouse gas emission operations by 2050.
Using shore power allows a ship to connect to the local power grid and removes the need to keep a ship’s engines running, which eliminates direct emissions while the vessel is connected in port.
Earlier this year, MSC Cruises undertook the first tests at Valletta and the experience gained contributed to refining the shore power implementation process.
‘MSC World Europa’ will connect up each week to the shore power facilities when she calls Valletta throughout the whole of next year and 2025.
Every new ship that has joined the MSC Cruises fleet since 2017 has been equipped with shore power connections and plans are underway to retrofit other ships, the cruise line said.
MSC explained that it had been able to increase shore power utilisation as more ports have added electricity plug-in facilities.
Valletta follows recent connections in Northern Europe at Warnemünde in Germany, the Norwegian ports at Bergen, Aalesund and Haugesund, and Southampton in the UK. MSC Cruises earlier this year also inaugurated a new shore power facility at Kiel, Germany.
MSC also revealed that it aims to add at least 15 new ports to its shore power plan between 2024 and 2026. These will focus on a number of ports in Italy, including Genoa, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples and Trieste, as well as other main ports, such as Barcelona, Hamburg, Valencia, Marseille, Copenhagen, and the new cruise terminal in Miami, due to open next year.
The cruise line acknowledged the importance of collaborating with ports and regions in achieving sustainable maritime practices.For example, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance shore power facilities in the Baltic Sea area, and similar commitments are being pursued with Mediterranean ports.
Michele Francioni, Senior Vice President Cost Optimisation & Process Improvement, MSC Cruises, said, “Our shore power plan demonstrates that we are fully committed to reducing emissions from our ships. Using shore power is a major step forward because it allows us to eliminate a ship’s direct emissions whilst berthed.
“We need more ports across Europe and beyond to introduce shore power as quickly as possible so that we can further reduce local air emissions. We will ensure our ships are ready to connect wherever the facilities are available to us. Connecting ‘MSC World Europa’ to the shore power in Valletta is a proud achievement and we are grateful for the collaboration and excellent co-operation with Transport Malta, Infrastructure Malta and the Maltese authorities, as well as with the Cruise Port of Valletta,” he said.
‘MSC World Europa’ is the first MSC vessel to be powered by LNG. As one of the best performing large cruise ships operating in the world regarding CO2eq emissions per passenger, she represents a major step forward on MSC Cruises’ journey towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the company claimed.
In addition, she is among the first contemporary cruise ships to incorporate solid oxide fuel cell technology, with trial tests showing very promising results.