The MSC World Europa is now in the final stage of construction and will be delivered in October. In addition to being the largest LNG-powered cruise ship in the world, the vessel features solid oxide fuel cells, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and enhanced shore-to-ship power capability.
MSC Cruises has only just revealed these details regarding the ship’s environmental credentials.
‘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,’ says Linden Coppell, Director of Sustainability for MSC Cruises. ‘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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Testbed for fuel cell technology
The MSC World Europa will feature new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by LNG developed by MSC Cruises, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Bloom Energy. The ship will include a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that will generate auxiliary power to deliver efficiency gains and significant CO2 emissions reductions compared to traditional internal combustion engines.
It will be a testbed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for contemporary cruise ships and offers a potential to enable hybrid propulsion solutions in the future.
LNG with selective catalytic reduction and shore power
Compared to standard marine fuels, LNG nearly eliminates air pollutant emissions, including sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and fine particles, and achieves a CO2 reduction of up to 25 per cent. LNG will also 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, says MSC.
MSC World Europa features a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that reduces NOx emissions by ninety per cent when LNG is not available, and the ship must run on marine gas oil. As LNG fuel achieves a similar reduction, MSC World Europa will always meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) Tier III NOx emissions standards. On top of this, shore-to-ship power connectivity allows MSC World Europa to minimise engine use at ports where the required infrastructure is available.
Wastewater and ballast water treatment
As with all new MSC Cruises’ ships, MSC World Europa also features 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, in compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.
Also read: Keel laid for MSC’s first LNG-powered cruise ship
Optimising energy use
MSC World Europa incorporates a wide range of equipment to optimise energy use throughout the ship. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems, with automated energy recovery loops, allowing effective distribution of heat and cold across the ship.
The ship uses LED lighting controlled by smart management systems to further enhance the energy saving profile. In partnership with the shipyard, MSC World Europa has been designed with an innovative hull shape to minimise resistance through the water. It 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 onboard.
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, according to MSC. The MSC World Europa is designed to perform 47 per cent better than its required Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).
MSC World Europa’s 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 EUR 3 billion. MSC World Europa will be followed by MSC Euribia, which is currently also under construction in Saint Nazaire and set to enter service in 2023. Construction of the third ship is set to commence in early 2023.
Also read: MSC Cruises to expand with ‘World Class’ LNG cruise ships