Bernard Bigger / MSC Cruise
MSC World Europa was flooded at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazir, France
MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique celebrated two milestones for building the next generation of cruise line vessels.
MSC World Europa was first flooded at a shipyard in Saint-Nazir, France. Meanwhile, a traditional coin ceremony took place with the laying of the keel for MSC Euribia, with Anne Claire Juventin, in charge of quality control at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and Valentina Mancini, brand manager from MSC Cruises, performing the role of godparents.
MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia will become the first LNG-powered vessels to join the MSC Cruises fleet next year, with construction of MSC World Europa II set to begin in early 2023. The three new constructions represent an investment of € 3 billion ($ 3.39 billion) by The cruise line.
“Today is another important milestone in our journey towards zero net emissions by 2050 for our maritime operations,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, senior chairman of MSC Cruises. Recently, we still managed to get with our partners at Chantiers de L’Atlantique the launch of this new LNG. Vessels – the first ever made in France. ”
Chantiers de l’Atlantique and MSC Cruises have also confirmed that a fuel cell pilot plant known as Blue Horizon will also be installed aboard MSC World Europe. The plant will generate electricity from the ship’s LNG fuel using electrochemical reactions in its electrodes, in contrast to the generators currently installed and generating electricity by burning fuel.
The fuel cell technology selected by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and MSC Cruises is the solid oxide (SOFC) fuel cell developed by Bloom Energy. The SOFC uses ceramic materials, which allow operation at temperatures up to 800C in the fuel cell core. This allows for an electrical efficiency of about 60 percent and provides an opportunity to return significant heat from the exhaust, which will bring the overall efficiency of the system close to 90 percent. The Blue Horizon pilot plant installed on top of MSC World Europa will consist of two 75 kilowatt modules.
The technology will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to regular dual-fuel engines, without producing nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide or particulate matter emissions. SOFC is also compatible with a variety of fuels, including bio or synthetic LNG, methanol, ammonia and hydrogen. The operational data and technical feedback from the ship will be provided to Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Bloom Energy to enable future improvements in technology.
“With MSC World Europe, we have designed and built a cruise ship with exceptional level of performance and efficiency,” said Laurent Casting, general manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The combination of this fuel cell model allows us to take a big step forward and imagine what the cruise ship of the future will look like.”
MSC World Europe has now been transferred to a wet wharf for further work ahead of its planned delivery in November 2022. The ship will spend its opening season in the Gulf region and offers seven-night cruises from Dubai, UAE. Construction will continue at MSC Euribia, with a global design competition for artists to create body art inspired by the sea and the marine ecosystem.