The LNG-powered vessel will leave the French port June 3 and is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen June 7, in doing so, demonstrating that operating with net zero GHG emissions is possible today.
Years of commitment
Commenting on the upcoming four-day voyage, Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman - cruise division, MSC Group, said, ‘This industry-first net zero gas emissions voyage of our latest flagship MSC Euribia heralds another significant step on our decarbonisation journey and demonstrates more than anything the extent of our commitment.’
Added Michele Francioni, SVP, MSC Cruises, ‘MSC Euribia’s first voyage will be an incredible feat and represents years of commitment and determination. It should prove that we have the capability to operate on a net zero greenhouse gas emissions basis with existing ship technology.’
Only the start
Francioni went on to say, ‘This is just the beginning. We are committed to this transition and putting in place everything we can do to facilitate it. It cannot be done without alternative fuels such as bio-LNG, e-LNG, green hydrogen or green methanol being made widely available at scale to fully realise the vision of net zero cruising.’
The sailing will utilise bio-LNG using a mass-balance system - an environmentally efficient method of delivering the benefits of renewable biogas.
The entire supply chain will be fully compliant with the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and each individual batch of the total bio-LNG produced has been certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification.
The cruise line has purchased 400t of bio-LNG to show its commitment to the deployment of drop-in renewable fuels and energy transition measures towards the net zero gas emissions voyage.
Systems optimised to reduce fuel consumption
For the voyage, MSC Cruises is being supported by Nordic energy company Gasum, a leading producer of biogas and processor of biodegradable waste fractions in the Nordic region.
The speed and itinerary of MSC Euribia’s maiden voyage has been designed specifically to optimise the configuration and loads of the engines to minimise fuel consumption.
Energy efficiency specialists from both MSC Cruises and Chantiers de L’Atlantique will join the cruise to monitor and optimise all aspects of the journey. They will work with Capt. Stefano Battinelli and MSC Euribia’s chief engineer, Pasquale Mastellone.
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises’ shore-based energy efficiency experts based in London will continuously monitor and optimise all systems on board to minimise energy demand and identify additional opportunities to improve energy efficiency in real-time. This will include a range of measures from the configuration of the engines down to the speed of individual air-conditioning fans in guest cabins, together with the itinerary and speed optimisation.
All of the combined initiatives will save energy to reduce fuel consumption.
‘We cannot do this alone’
Vago also went on to express the need for further support to decarbonise the shipping industry. He said, ‘We cannot do this alone… Given the absolute importance of alternative fuels for our industry, as well as for other sectors across civil society to achieve decarbonisation, we all need to work together to increase their availability at scale.
‘Our purchase of bio-LNG will send a clear and meaningful signal to the market that there is demand from cruise lines and the broader maritime industry for cleaner fuels, but we need governments, producers and end-users to collaborate and scale-up the availability of these much-needed and new sources of power.’
MSC Cruises’ newbuilds are fuel flexible ships that can accommodate a variety of renewable fuels both available today and expected in the future.
The use of fossil LNG already achieves up to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels, and virtually eliminates all sulphur oxide and particulate emissions while also reducing nitrogen oxides by 85%.
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