Keel laid for MSC Cruises’ first LNG-powered ship MSC World Europa

   June 30, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

On June 29, at Chantiers de l’Atlantique Shipyard (Saint-Nazaire, France) was held the keel-laying / coin ceremony for the first LNG-powered ship of MSC Cruises - MSC World Europa.

The 200,000-plus GT vessel is scheduled to enter service in 2022 as one of the most environmentally-technologically advanced and largest cruise liners, as well as the first-ever LNG-powered cruiser to be built in France.

Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago together with her husband MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique performed the maritime ritual as godmothers representing the shipowner and the shipbuilder when they placed a pair of coins under the keel as the historical sign of good fortune and blessing for the project, and the vessel’s life at sea.

MSC World Europa is expected to feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system incorporating solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use liquified natural gas to produce electricity and heat onboard, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used onboard a cruise ship.

This SOFC solution fuelled by LNG is due to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by about 30% in comparison to a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, or fine particles. It also has the advantage of being compatible with LNG, and a number of low carbon fuels like types of hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia.

MSC World Europa will boast a new generation wastewater treatment system exceeding some of the most stringent regulatory standards in the world, as well as other cutting-edge environmental technology.

MSC Europa cruise ship

The next flagship of MSC - MSC Virtuosa, is currently under construction in St-Nazaire and planned for delivery in 2021.

MSC Cruises also has on orders (with Chantiers de l’Atlantique) 2 additional LNG-powered ships of the company's MSC World and MSC Meraviglia ship classes.