MSC newbuildings fit for the environment

2021-02-26T21:26:20+00:00 February 26th, 2021|Technology|

Last month, MSC Cruises gave a technology update on its new ships.

The line said that ‘MSC Virtuosa’ and ‘MSC Seashore’ are to be equipped with cutting-edge technologies that minimise their environmental footprint.

In addition, the LNG-powered ‘MSC World Europa’ will join fleet in 2022, while construction will begin on a second LNG powered ship this year.

As mentioned in previous news columns, MSC Cruises has also joined the EU-backed CHEK Consortium to promote low carbon shipping by combining energy technologies and innovative ship design.

Both the ‘MSC Virtuosa’ and ‘MSC Seashore’ will be fitted  with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and  selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR), to achieve a 98% reduction of sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions and a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

Their wastewater treatment systems were designed in line with the IMO’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution and achieve purification standards that are higher than most wastewater treatment facilities ashore.

As with all MSC Cruises’ newbuildings, they will also be equipped with shore-to-ship power connectivity, allowing them to connect to local power grids while berthed at ports where the infrastructure is available.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said, “Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation and this is the journey we are on today. As we work with our partners to identify new technologies that will bring us closer to this goal with each new ship that we build and bring into service, we continue to equip our ships with the latest and most effective technologies in the market.”

Talking about CHEK, Vago said: “We are delighted to partner with other industry leaders in their fields to together research and develop new solutions that will support the road to de-carbonisation of shipping. This is another example of our commitment to the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technologies and solutions.”

Looking ahead, in 2022 ’MSC World Europa’, the company’s first LNG-powered vessel, will be delivered and in 2021 work will begin on a second LNG ship – the fifth ‘Meraviglia’ class ship.

’MSC World Europa’ will be amongst the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world with a range of environmental innovations. These include a 50 kW, LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell technology project that offers a potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a further 25%, compared to a conventional LNG engine.

As sustainable, non-fossil-based fuels like bioLNG become available at scale, MSC Cruises anticipated that they would be widely deployed on its LNG-powered ships to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Linden Coppell, MSC Cruises’ Director of Sustainability, said, “Every new ship that joins our fleet incorporates solutions to minimise our environmental footprint. ‘MSC Virtuosa’ and ‘MSC Seashore’ will be no exception.

“As new technologies are identified, we also work to improve the existing fleet, investigating retrofit opportunities, incorporating new energy reduction measures, working extensively with industry experts and seeking out drop-in alternative fuels to achieve the ambitious carbon intensity reduction goals of our industry,” he said.

Both of the new ships will be equipped with an underwater radiated noise management system, with hull and engine room designs that minimise acoustic sound impact, reducing their potential effects on marine fauna, most particularly on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.

All MSC Cruises’ newbuildings will incorporate a wide range of energy efficient equipment to help reduce and optimise engine use. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems with automated energy recovery loops that redistribute heat and cold to reduce demand.

The ships will use LED lighting controlled by smart management systems to enhance further the energy saving profile. In partnership with the shipyards, all new builds will be fitted with remote energy monitoring and analysis systems, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimise operational efficiency on board, MSC said.