MSC World Europa to be ‘largest LNG-powered cruise ship’

MSC Cruises expects newbuild MSC World Europa to become the largest LNG-powered cruise ship in the world when it launches in October.

The company described the 6,774-passenger MSC World Europa as being the world’s first contemporary cruise vessel to feature new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by liquified natural gas (LNG).

A 150-kilowatt SOFC unit will generate auxiliary power to deliver efficiency gains and “significant CO2 emissions reductions” compared to traditional internal combustion engines.

It will act as a testbed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for cruise ships and offers a potential to enable hybrid propulsion solutions in the future.

The disclosure came as the line released information about the ship’s environmental credentials, including solid oxide fuel cells, a selective catalytic reduction system and enhanced shore-to-ship power capability.

MSC Cruises has three firm orders for vessels powered by LNG, for delivery between 2022 and 2025, representing an overall investment of more than €3 billion. 

MSC World Europa, the 20th ship in the fleet, will be followed by MSC Euribia, also being built and set to enter service in 2023. Construction of the third ship is set to start in early 2023.

Sustainability director Linden Coppell 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 decarbonisation 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.”

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