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Monday, July 6, 2020 

At the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, building of MSC Cruises’ first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, 'MSC World Europa', has formally started with a keel laying ceremony.

The 200,000-plus gt ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and is said to be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “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. 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.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. 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.”

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) demonstrator system as well as using LNG to produce electricity and heat on board. This is thought to be the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.

The SOFC solution fuelled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30% compared with a conventional LNG-fuelled genset, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. As well as LNG, the fuel cell technology is compatible with several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

MSC World Europa will be equipped with a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the most stringent regulatory standards, as well other environmental technology.

MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The Company has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships. 

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