World’s largest LNG-powered cruise ship christened
MSC Cruises, the cruise division of Swiss shipping giant MSC Group, has held a naming ceremony for the world’s largest LNG-powered cruise ship and one of the first to incorporate fuel cell technology, MSC World Europa.
As informed, the naming ceremony for the vessel took place in Doha, Qatar, on 13 November. The ship was officially delivered to the company in Saint-Nazaire on 24 October.
Together with partner Qatar Airways, the celebrations are part of MSC Cruises’ overall commitment to Qatar, reinforcing its pledge to support the growth of international tourism there as well as the broader Middle East region.
MSC World Europa incorporates various environmentally friendly features. The ship, which measures 580.3 meters in length and is able to accommodate 6,762 passengers with a crew of 2,138, includes a dual-fuel power plant for LNG.
Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG nearly eliminates air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides and fine particles, greatly reduces nitrogen oxides, and achieves a CO2 reduction of up to 25%, according to the companies.
LNG will also enable the development of low-carbon fuels and solutions such as green hydrogen, synthetic-LNG, and fuel cells.
Moreover, the unit is the world’s first contemporary cruise ship to feature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by liquefied natural gas.
The vessel is outfitted with a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that will use LNG to produce electricity and heat by means of an electrochemical reaction. The company expects that the new technology will reduce NOx emissions by 90 per cent when LNG is not available, and the ship must run on marine gas oil.
MSC World Europa has also been designed with 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’. The ship includes an advanced ballast water treatment system that prevents the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges.
Determined to achieve net-zero emissions cruise operations by 2050, the cruise division of MSC Group is investing in and supporting the accelerated development and implementation of innovative technologies to be deployed across its fleet.
Fourteen of MSC Cruises’ vessels have been fitted with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, ensuring a sulphur oxides reduction of 98 per cent. By the end of 2022, the five newest ships will have selective catalytic reduction systems, which convert nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water.
MSC Cruises ordered three LNG-powered vessels, for delivery between 2022 and 2025. This represents an overall investment of over €3 billion ($3.2 million).
MSC World Europa will be followed by MSC Euribia, which is also currently under construction in Saint Nazaire. This vessel will enter service in 2023. Construction of the third ship is to start in early 2023.