MSC Cruises has held the coin ceremony for its first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.
The event took place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and saw senior management officially lay the keel for the 200,000-plus GT ship.
The ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and will be one of most technologically and environmentally advanced LNG-powered vessels in its class, according to the line.
MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago 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.”
Chantiers de l’Atlantique general manager Laurent Castaing added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship that 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 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.
The ship’s wastewater treatment system will exceed some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, according to MSC Cruises.
MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is also under construction in Saint-Nazaire, in preparation for delivery next year.
The line has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, one each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.