What is claimed to be the cruise industry’s first net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions voyage will be accomplished this week.
MSC Cruises flagship, the LNG-powered ’MSC Euribia’, is due to leave Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard at Saint Nazaire, France for her naming ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The new ship, the 22nd vessel to join MSC Cruises’ fleet, will take four days from Saint Nazaire to Copenhagen and achieve net zero GHG emissions to demonstrate that net zero cruising is possible today.
‘MSC Euribia’ is due to leave the French port on 3rd June and is scheduled to arrive in the Danish capital on 7th June.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said: “This industry-first net zero gas emissions voyage of our latest flagship ‘MSC Euribia’ heralds another significant step on our de-carbonisation journey and demonstrates more than anything the extent of our commitment.“
MSC Cruises has purchased 400 tonnes of bio-LNG to deploy drop-in renewable fuels and energy transition measures towards the net zero gas emissions voyage.
The line is the industry’s first deep sea ocean cruise operator to buy bio-LNG as a fuel source that has significant lifecycle emissions reductions, it claimed.
Vago added, “We cannot do this alone, however. Given the absolute importance of alternative fuels for our industry as well as for other sectors across civil society to achieve de-carbonisation, we all need to work together to increase their availability at scale.
“Our purchase of bio-LNG will send a clear and meaningful signal to the market that there is demand from cruise lines and the broader maritime industry for cleaner fuels, but we need governments, producers and end-users to collaborate and scale-up the availability of these much-needed and new sources of power,” he stressed.
‘MSC Euribia’ will utilise bio-LNG using a mass-balance system, the most environmentally efficient method of delivering the benefits of renewable biogas.
The entire supply chain will be fully compliant with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive, commonly known as RED II, and each individual batch of the total bio-LNG produced has been certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification.
Michele Francioni, Senior Vice President, MSC Cruises, added, “’MSC Euribia’s’ first voyage will be an incredible feat and represents years of commitment and determination. It should prove that we have the capability to operate on a net zero greenhouse gas emissions basis with existing ship technology.
“This is just the beginning. We are committed to this transition and putting in place everything we can do to facilitate it. It cannot be done without alternative fuels such as bio-LNG, e-LNG, green hydrogen or green methanol being made widely available at scale to fully realise the vision of net zero cruising,” he said.
MSC Cruises is being supported by Nordic energy company Gasum for the net zero GHG emissions voyage, a producer of biogas and processor of biodegradable waste fractions in the Nordic region.
The speed and itinerary of ’MSC Euribia’s’ maiden voyage has been designed specifically to optimise the configuration and loads of the engines to minimise fuel consumption.
Dedicated energy efficiency specialists from both MSC Cruises and the ship’s builder, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, will be on board to monitor and optimise every aspect of the journey.
They will work with the vessel’s Master Cap Stefano Battinelli and Chief Engineer, Pasquale Mastellone.
MSC Cruises’ shore-based energy efficiency experts based in London will continuously monitor and optimise all systems on board to minimise energy demand, identify additional opportunities to improve energy efficiency in real-time, while maintaining high comfort for all guests on board.
This will include a range of measures from the configuration of the engines down to the speed of individual air-conditioning fans in guest cabins, together with the itinerary and speed optimisation.
All of the combined initiatives will save energy to reduce fuel consumption.
MSC Cruises’ newbuildings are fuel flexible ships that can accommodate a variety of renewable fuels both available today and those expected in the future.
The use of fossil LNG already achieves up to a 20% reduction in GHG emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels, and virtually eliminates all sulphur oxide and particulate emissions while also reducing nitrogen oxides by 85%, NSC said.