The first steel was cut today at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire, France marking the official start of construction of MSC Cruises’ most environmentally advanced ship to-date, and her name was also revealed.
Set to come into service in June 2023, MSC Euribia will become the 22nd vessel in the MSC Cruises’ fleet and the second to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), the cleanest marine fuel available at scale today.
As every ship that joins MSC Cruises’ fleet, she will be equipped with some of the latest and most advanced technologies and solutions to minimise her environmental impact. The beginning of construction of MSC Euribia effectively marks another milestone in the Company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
The start of her construction was marked by a traditional steel cutting ceremony in Saint Nazaire bringing the ship owner and shipyard together. As maritime custom dictates, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago joined Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s General Manager Laurent Castaing to launch the cutting of the first steel for the new ship and, with it, the next step in MSC Cruises’ journey towards zero-impact operations.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman said, “Just as the ancient goddess harnessed the winds, weather and constellations to master the seas, our vision is for MSC Euribia to master the deployment of sustainable technologies to protect and preserve our precious marine ecosystem. This ship marks a new milestone in our journey towards net zero impact operations and is testament to our commitment to foster and develop next generation environmental technologies.
“As a family with over 300 years of seafaring heritage, we always seek to protect the environment to safeguard our way of life and protect the planet for future generations. With our first LNG-powered vessel already under construction, MSC Euribia will further reduce emissions using the latest available technology. She will be one of the world’s most environmentally high-performing contemporary vessels.”
LNG is by far the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale and it virtually eliminates local air pollutant emissions like sulphur oxides (99%), nitrogen oxides (85%) and particles (98%).
In terms of emissions with a global impact, LNG plays a key role in climate change mitigation and MSC Euribia’s engines have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25% compared to standard fuels. In addition, with the subsequent availability of Bio and Synthetic forms of LNG, this energy source will provide a pathway toward eventual decarbonized operations.
LNG is also key to the development of fuel cell solutions for shipping as these technologies cannot be operated with traditional fuels. MSC Cruises, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and a consortium of leading energy and technology companies are working on the development of a pilot LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell technology for cruise ships that could achieve a further significant greenhouse gas emissions reduction due to the higher efficiency of this technology.
MSC Cruises is committed to powering at least three upcoming ships with LNG, representing a total investment exceeding EUR 3 billion. The first of these, MSC World Europa is currently under construction in Saint Nazaire and set to enter service in October 2022. Construction of the third vessel is set to commence in early 2023.
(MSC Cruises, Chantiers de l’Atlantique)