MSC Cruises commits to range of environmental initiatives

MSC Cruises commits to range of environmental initiatives

MSC Cruises

MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore will feature a range of new environmental technologies

MSC Cruises has committed to a range of environmental initiatives intended to reduce the environmental impact of its ships, including researching and adopting new sustainable technologies.

The cruise line is equipping its two new ships, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, with new technologies designed to minimise their environmental footprints. Both ships will feature hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems and selective catalytic reduction systems, reducing sulphur oxide emissions from the ships by 98 per cent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 per cent.  The ships will also be equipped with wastewater treatment systems designed in line with the International Maritime Organization’s guidelines to deliver a higher standard of water purity. An underwater radiated noise management system will be installed onboard the ships to reduce the potential effects on marine fauna. The vessels will also be able to connect with shore power while at berth.

“Every new ship that joins our fleet incorporates solutions to minimise our environmental footprint. MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore will be no exception,” said Linden Coppell, MSC Cruises’ director of sustainability. “As new technologies are identified, we also work to improve the existing fleet, investigating retrofit opportunities, incorporating new energy reduction measures, working extensively with industry experts and seeking out drop-in alternative fuels to achieve the ambitious carbon intensity reduction goals of our industry.”

MSC Cruises is also partnering with industry leaders in the CHEK Consortium, a research project that promotes low-carbon shipping by combining new energy technologies and ship designs. Led by Finland’s University of Vaasa, the project also involves the World Maritime University, Wärtsilä, Cargill, Lloyds Register, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, Climeon and BAR Technologies.

The consortium is set to receive funding from Horizon 2020, the European Union’s framework programme for research and innovation. It will seek to demonstrate the benefits of technologies including hydrogen propulsion, ultrasound antifouling, hull air-lubrication, waste to energy systems and digitalised optimisation software, integrated with all aspects of ship maximise efficiency across all aspects of ship operation.

In 2022, MSC will take delivery of MSC World Europa, the company’s first LNG-powered vessel. The ship will feature a 50-kilowatt, LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell technology project that offers a potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a further 25 per cent compared to a conventional LNG engine. The company will start constructing a second LNG-powered vessel in 2021.

“Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation, and this is the journey we are on today,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “As we work with our partners to identify new technologies that will bring us closer to this goal with each new ship that we build and bring into service, we continue to equip our ships with the latest and most effective technologies in the market.”

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
28 January 2021