MSC Cruises and shipbuilder Chantiers de L’Atlantique held a maritime coin ceremony for the cruise line’s first liquified natural gas LNG-powered ship, MSC World Europa, on Monday 29 June 2020.
The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and will be one of the most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first-ever to be built in France.
Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the shipowner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.
“MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises. “With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”
MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat onboard, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.
SOFC will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by about 30% compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles.
MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well as other cutting-edge environmental technology.
MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.