MSC publishes results from world’s first net zero emissions cruise

2023-09-17T15:43:39+00:00 September 17th, 2023|Environment|

What is claimed to be the world’s first net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cruise ship voyage, undertaken on board MSC Cruises latest LNG-powered ’MSC Euribia’, marks a paradigm shift for cruising, the company said.

This proves that net-zero emissions cruising is possible already today, significantly ahead of the 2050 target for the industry. ’MSC Euribia’ achieved this milestone by utilising bioLNG as fuel by applying mass balance.

Following her landmark net-zero GHG emission maiden voyage from Saint Nazaire, France to Copenhagen, Denmark, between 3rd and 8th June, 2023 – including a day’s stopover in Amsterdam – MSC Cruises has just revealed the key data and insights gathered from the trip.

During the four-day voyage, ’MSC Euribia’ performed 11% better than her digital twin – a virtual ship reproducing the optimum energy flow and utilisation on board – achieving an overall saving of 43 tonnes of fuel.

Optimal speed profiles, routing, trim and engine configuration, and strict optimisation of the hotel`s energy consumption, including HVAC, galleys, and lightings, ensured that she did not have to use more than two of her four engines available during the voyage.

In addition, all the required heat for galleys, heating systems and hot water on board was recovered from her engines, meaning there was no need to switch on the boilers for the whole trip.

Achieving net-zero performance was made possible by using bioLNG as a fuel. ’MSC Euribia’ utilised bioLNG using a mass-balance system, the most cost-effective and environmentally efficient method of delivering the benefits of renewable LNG, fully recognised by the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).

Each batch of bioLNG produced was certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC).

MSC said that the voyage’s successful completion sends a clear signal that net zero GHG emissions marine operations are possible today if alternative fuels are available.

Data harvested and information gathered during the trip will be used to optimise the existing ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet, further driving down emissions intensity across the fleet.

Michele Francioni, Senior Vice President of Optimisation for the Cruise Division of MSC Group, commented: “We are extremely proud of this achievement, that proves net-zero cruising is possible today. Our engineers on board and our crew led by Capt Battinelli did a fantastic job optimising the ship’s operation.

“’MSC Euribia’ truly has the most energy-efficient cruise ship design to-date, but we need greater availability of renewable fuels for the wider maritime industry to consistently repeat this feat. With the right level of support from governments and international institutions in incentivising acceleration of technological advancements and renewable fuels availability, the industry can achieve net-zero emissions cruising by 2050,” Francioni said.

MSC further explained that the recent signing of a Letter of Intent (LoI) between MSC Cruises and fuel supplier Gasum will provide MSC with access to liquefied synthetic gas, or e-LNG, a renewable fuel produced using hydrogen, created by hydrolysis with renewable energy and captured carbon.

Linden Coppell, MSC Cruises’ Vice President of Sustainability and ESG, added, “The partnership with Gasum will enable us to access new and cleaner fuels needed to make a significant step toward net zero cruising. We need more suppliers like Gasum to step up and support our industry. We are ready and waiting to buy more of these new fuels.

“In the meantime, we will continue to learn from the data from ‘MSC Euribia’s’ net zero GHG voyage and use these findings as a benchmark for delivering our next LNG vessel,” he said.

‘MSC Euribia’ has is of 184,011 gt; is 331 m in length, 43 m beam and has a pax capacity of 6,334.

She is fitted with four Wärtsilä Dual Fuel engines – 2 x 16V46DF and 2 x 12V46DF, which are capable of running on LNG and low sulphur marine gas oil (MGO)

‘MSC Euribia’ is the most energy-efficient cruise ship design yet delivered, MSC Cruises said. She will achieve an IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) 55% better than currently required and she was expected to be the best-performing cruise ship in the world at the time of her launch.

The cruise ship will emit up to 44% less GHG emissions per passenger per day than ships built only 10 years ago.

In addition, wastewater is treated on board to a very high quality and of a better standard than many shoreside municipal wastewater treatment systems worldwide.

MSC’s technology meets the strictest international IMO standards – including the so-called Baltic standard. Advanced waste management systems have also been installed to reduce, reuse, and recycle the waste generated on board.

The Cruise Division of the MSC Group is committed to being a net zero GHG emissions brand by 2050

MSC’s ship operations emissions’ intensity has decreased by 33.5% since 2008, and the company said it was confident in achieving a 40% reduction by 2030.

However, achieving net zero emissions will require more than finding further operational efficiencies. To that end, MSC is embracing new technologies and switching to non-carbon and renewable fuels.

The cruise line said it was working with fuel providers and others on deploying drop-in sustainable fuels, such as advanced biofuels and biogas. Looking into the future, green hydrogen and green methanol will likely contribute to de-carbonisation, as will synthetic e-fuels.

MSC’s focus is on the development of scalable solutions that can be used universally, the company concluded.