The MSC World Europa is entering the final stages of construction in Saint-Nazaire, France, before starting service within the MSC Cruises fleet in October 2022.
The cruise company has revealed details of the vessel’s environmental credentials and on board technologies, which include solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and enhanced shore-to-ship power capability.
Claimed as the world’s first contemporary cruise vessel to feature brand-new SOFC technology, the MSC World Europa will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), which has been developed by MSC Cruises, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Bloom Energy. The use of LNG will achieve a CO2 reduction of up to 25%.
A 150kW SOFC demonstrator will generate auxiliary power for efficiency gains and significant CO2 emissions reductions compared with conventional internal combustion engines. MSC will use the system as a testbed to accelerate the development of fuel cell technology for other cruise ships, while also offering the potential to enable hybrid propulsion solutions in the future.
The vessel will benefit from a SCR system to reduce NOX emissions by 90% when LNG is not available, and the vessel has to run on marine gas oil. Additionally, shore-to-ship power connectivity will enable the cruise ship to minimize engine use in ports. The MSC World Europa will meet International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) Tier III NOX emissions standards and has been designed to perform 47% better than its required Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).
The MSC World Europa has been designed with an innovative hull shape to minimize resistance through the water and will also be fitted with automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis. To further optimize energy use, the vessel will also feature smart ventilation and advanced air-conditioning systems with automated energy recovery loops to enable the effective distribution of heat and cold across the ship. LED lighting controlled by smart management systems has also been used.
“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 decarbonization of the maritime sector,” said Linden Coppell, director of sustainability at 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.”