Chantiers de l’Atlantique lays keel for MSC Cruises’ first LNG ship

Chantiers de l’Atlantique lays keel for MSC Cruises’ first LNG ship
Bernard Biger/Chantiers de l'Atlantique
The first block of MSC World Europa's keel is lowered into place at the shipyard

Chantiers de l’Atlantique has laid the keel for MSC Cruises’ first LNG-powered cruise ship, MSC World Europa, at its shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

MSC Cruises marked the construction milestone with a traditional ceremony in which two godmothers placed commemorative coins under the keel to bring good fortune throughout both the building project and the ship’s operational life. The godmothers included Aurore Bezard from Chantiers de I’Atlantique’s HR department and Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman.

“We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future,” said Laurent Castaing, general manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”

Scheduled to enter service in 2022, MSC World Europa is the first LNG cruise ship to be built in France and the first to use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. Powered by LNG fuel, the SOFC solution will produce electricity and heat onboard the vessel and will eliminate emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and fine particles. It will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by around 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine. The SOFC solution is also compatible with several low-carbon fuels, such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

In addition, MSC World Europa will be equipped with an advanced wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s strictest regulatory standards, and various other green technologies.

“MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations,” said Pierfrancesco Vago. “With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”

Chantiers de l’Atlantique is also constructing MSC Cruises’ next flagship, MSC Virtuosa, which will be delivered in 2021. MSC Cruises has also ordered two additional LNG vessels from the shipyrd – one for the World class of ships and the other for the Meraviglia class.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
30 June 2020

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