MSC celebrates two newbuild milestones

2021-12-14T14:34:48+00:00 December 13th, 2021|Ships|

Earlier this month, MSC Group’s cruise division and Chantiers de l’Atlantique celebrated two newbuilding milestones for the construction of the line’s next generation of environmentally advanced vessels.

‘MSC World Europa’ and ‘MSC Euribia’ will become the first LNG-powered vessels to join the MSC Cruises fleet next year representing an investment of €3 bill with the construction of the ‘World Europa II’ due to commence in early 2023.

These ships will play an important role in the company’s commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The LNG fuelled engines of these two ships have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25%, compared to standard fuels.

In addition, with the subsequent availability of bio and synthetic forms of LNG, this energy source will provide a pathway toward eventual decarbonised operations.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “Today is another important milestone in our journey towards net zero emissions by 2050 for our marine operations. Following billions of euros of investment, we are announcing significant construction developments in not just one but two of our next generation LNG-powered vessels bringing us ever closer to our vision of an emissions free cruise industry.

As the cleanest fuel currently available at scale for our operations, LNG is at the vanguard of the momentous energy transition we must go through.”

“We have a lot more to do but I am pleased that despite all that we have faced from the pandemic over the last two years, we have still been able to achieve with our partners at Chantiers de L’Atlantique the launch of these new LNG vessels – the first ever made in France that will also introduce potential new fuel cell technologies to make them even more efficient. We now need to take even bigger steps and we will need the continued support of our suppliers, partners and Governments to achieve this. We all need to work together to achieve our green future,” he said.

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “It is indeed a very special moment we are living today. This is not only because these ships are respectively the 15th and the 16th we are building for MSC Cruises – which shows the outstanding quality of the relationship we established between our two companies since the 90’s.

“This is not only because they will rank among the largest and the finest of the world’s cruise market. But it is also and especially because they represent a giant step towards what the cruise ships of the future will look like. At their delivery, they will have the best carbon footprint of the market, in terms of emissions per passenger and per day,” he said.

It was also revealed that MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique had installed a fuel cell pilot plant on board ‘MSC World Europa’, known as ‘Blue Horizon’. This technology will use LNG to convert fuel into electricity at one of the highest efficiencies of any power solution available today, producing electricity and heat on board.

The fuel cell technology selected was the SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) developed by Bloom Energy. SOFC will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about a further 30%, compared with a conventional LNG engine without producing NOx, SOx or fine particles emissions.

SOFC also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels, such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. This project will form the building block for future larger installations and the beginning of an even closer collaboration between MSC Cruises and Chantier de L’Atlantique on R&D of fuel cell technology, both companies said.

‘MSC World Europa’ is the first in the MSC ‘World’ class – a brand new class of ships that introduces a completely new cruising platform. Boasting future-proof marine and on board hospitality technologies the design features a Y-shaped aft that leads to the 104 m long half open-half covered Europa Promenade with ocean views.

New balcony cabins will overlook the promenade, which features an architectural centrepiece in the form of ‘The Venom Drop @ The Spiral’, an 11-deck-high slide, the longest at sea.

She will be operational from December, 2022 and will spend her inaugural season in the Middle East Gulf region.

‘MSC Euribia’ will become one of the most environmentally advanced ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet to date. In order to demonstrate the company’s commitment to building environmentally advanced ships and to show the importance of respect for the environment, MSC Cruises launched a design contest for artists from around the world to create a unique artwork inspired by the sea and its important marine ecosystem.

The winning design will transform the hull of ‘MSC Euribia’ into a giant, floating canvas to communicating the importance that will be featured as a permanent design across the ship’s hull.