MSC’s new cruise ship to set high environmental standards

2022-05-27T19:19:44+00:00 May 27th, 2022|Environment|

‘MSC World Europa’ is set to become the greenest and most efficient vessel in MSC Cruises’ fleet when she is delivered in October, 2022, the company claimed.

The newbuilding cruise ship’s environmental initiatives include solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and enhanced shore-to-ship power capability.

She will also be the world’s largest LNG powered cruise ship when she enters into service.

‘MSC World Europa’ will be the world’s first contemporary cruise vessel to feature new SOFC technology powered by LNG developed by MSC Cruises, her builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Bloom Energy.

She will be fitted with a 150 kW SOFC demonstrator that will generate auxiliary power to deliver efficiency gains and significant CO2 emissions reductions, compared to traditional internal combustion engines.

This will form a test bed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for contemporary cruise ships and offers a potential to enable hybrid propulsion solutions in the future.

Linden Coppell, MSC Cruises’ Director of Sustainability, said; “We are committed to a net-zero future, which is why we are investing heavily in the development of low-carbon fuels and solutions that will accelerate the de-carbonisation of the maritime sector.

“’MSC World Europa’ will be our most efficient ship yet and help us prove and refine environmental technologies for the future of our fleet. With this project, we are also advancing partnerships with technology suppliers, energy companies, academia, and regulatory bodies. We must all deepen our collaboration to unlock a zero-emissions future,” Coppell said.

The use of LNG will enable the development of low-carbon fuels and solutions, such as green hydrogen, bio-LNG, and fuel cells. Traditional marine fuels cannot support these upcoming solutions, the company explained.

An SCR system reduces NOx emissions by 90% when LNG is not available and the ship has to run on marine gas oil. As LNG fuel achieves a similar reduction, ’MSC World Europa’ will always meet the IMO’s Tier III NOx emissions standards.

In addition, shore-to-ship power connectivity will allow the vessel to minimise engine use at ports where the required infrastructure is available.

As with all new MSC Cruises’ ships, ’MSC World Europa’ will also feature the latest wastewater treatment technology, in compliance with the IMO’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution, fully aligned with the world’s most stringent regulatory requirements – the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’.

She will also be fitted with an advanced ballast water treatment system (BWTS) that prevents the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).

‘MSC World Europa’ will be fitted with smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems, with automated energy recovery loops, allowing effective distribution of heat and cold across the ship. The ship will also use LED lighting controlled by smart management systems to further enhance the energy saving profile.

In partnership with the shipyard, she has been designed with an innovative hull shape to minimise resistance through the water and will also be fitted with enhanced automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimise operational efficiency on board.

These efficiency advances and the use of LNG, will enable an operational performance far higher that the IMO-required energy design criteria for new ships. For example, ‘MSC World Europa’ is designed to perform 47% better than the required Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), MSC claimed.

Her hull and engine room have been designed to minimise acoustic underwater sound impact, reducing the potential impact on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.

MSC Cruises has three firm orders for LNG-powered vessels for delivery between 2022 and 2025, representing an overall investment of over €3 bill. ’MSC World Europa’ will be followed by ’MSC Euribia’, which is also currently under construction in Saint Nazaire and is due to enter service in 2023. Construction of the third ship is scheduled to commence in early 2023.

Meanwhile, MSC’s luxury brand, Explora Journeys, is set to start operations in 2023 with a fleet also fitted the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available.

The first vessel will have a gross tonnage of 63,900 and feature 461 of the largest suites at sea, all with ocean front terraces. MSC said.

MSC also said that its number one priority across all its operations has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve.

In August, 2020, the company implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea.

MSCsaid that it has a long-term goal to achieve net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. The company is a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide.

‘MSC World Europa’s’ environmental technologies:

Engines and fuels:

• Five Wärtsilä 14V 46DF dual-fuel engines, usually running on LNG, and occasionally on low sulphur marine gasoil (MGO)
• A 150 kW solid oxide fuel cell demonstrator.

Air Emissions:

• Selective catalytic reduction system that reduces NOx emissions by 90% when the ship runs on MGO (LNG offers a similar NOx reduction); ‘MSC World Europa’ will meet IMO’s Tier III standards regardless of the fuel used
• Shore-to-ship power connectivity, allowing the ship to minimise engine use at ports where shore-to-ship power infrastructure is available.

Wastewater treatment:

• Advanced wastewater treatment system complying with the most stringent standards on IMO’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution (the so-called Baltic Standard)
• Advanced ballast water treatment system with UV treatment to prevent the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.