As foreshadowed here, they signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a prototype LNG-powered ship, with four of those planned
For this project, MSC Cruises, the yard and other partners will focus on developing emerging environmental technologies in line with IMO’s vision for 2030 and 2050. The four represent a capital investment exceeding €4bn and an extra 30m working hours for the yard, the suppliers and subcontractors.
A second MOU sees MSC Cruises partnering with Chantiers de l’Atlantique to develop yet another innovative ship class concept exploring what wind power and other advanced technologies could bring to passenger shipping.
Investment in excess of €6.5bn
The three agreements represent an investment in excess of €6.5bn in the French economy.
The meeting was attended by Édouard Philippe, prime minister of France; Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman; Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman; and, Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s general manager.
Vago said: ‘The three agreements signed today extend our investment plan up to 2030. They stem from an exceptional partnership, with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, that has already delivered 15 highly-innovative innovative cruise ships over the past two decades and will see many more vessels come to life at Saint-Nazaire’s docks in the next ten years. They also confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, in this case helping the French national industry further position itself as a world leader in the development of next-generation technologies and other solutions.’
Working partnership for 20 years
Castaing commented: ‘We are really proud and happy to have built such an outstanding relationship with MSC Cruises, based on mutual trust and driven by the spirit of innovation. We are both committed to shaping the cruise of tomorrow and to developing ship concepts which go far beyond current environmental standards. Our companies have already been working together for twenty years and these new projects allow us to look enthusiastically to the future.’
MSC Cruises said it is strongly committed to achieving a zero-impact future by investing in the accelerated development of new energy solutions and environmental technologies.
On January 1, the company started offsetting all CO2 emissions from its fleet that it is not currently able to abate by using a blend of high standard carbon offset projects.