MSC, Fincantieri and Snam partner for first hydrogen-powered cruise ship

MSC, Fincantieri and Snam partner for first hydrogen-powered cruise ship
Hydrogen can be produced without fossil fuels using renewable energy

Cruise line MSC Cruises, shipbuilder Fincantieri and energy infrastructure operator Snam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to determine the conditions for the design and construction of the world’s first ocean-going hydrogen-powered cruise ship.

A study will be carried out over the next 12 months that will assess the feasibility of designing and building the vessel, and the development of the related hydrogen bunkering infrastructure. The three companies will examine factors including arranging ship spaces to accommodate hydrogen technologies and fuel cells, technical parameters of onboard systems, calculating the potential emissions savings, and a technical and economic analysis of hydrogen supply and infrastructure.

“As a company that has long made environmental sustainability its focus, we want to put ourselves at the forefront of the energy revolution for our sector and hydrogen can greatly contribute to this,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “With this project, we’re taking the lead to bring this promising technology to our fleet and the industry while sending the strongest possible signal to the market about how seriously we take our environmental commitments.”

Hydrogen can be produced without fossil fuels using renewable energy, which can split water in a process called electrolysis. It can then be used to generate electrical power through a fuel cell, emitting only water vapour and heat.

“Hydrogen could be a key enabler in achieving the target of net-zero emissions in shipping, accounting for approximately three per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions,” said Marco Alverá, CEO of Snam. “This agreement for us is part of a wider strategy to leverage on our experience, competences and technologies in green gases and energy efficiency in order to contribute to the full decarbonisation of the shipping value chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly crucial in our economies.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
26 July 2021

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