Cruise Line announces that half of its fleet will be shore compatible by end of 2022.
In a press release MSC reports that two of its cruise ships will begin using shore power at the ports of Southampton and Rostock-Warnemünde this summer. MSC Cruises also says that over half its fleet is projected to be shore power compatible by the end of 2022.
In a statement issued today (21 April), MSC Cruises says that MSC Virtuosa and MSC Poesia will start using shore power on a regular basis at Southampton in the UK and Rostock-Warnemünde in Germany.
Linden Coppell, Director of Sustainability at MSC Cruises, commented: ‘We look forward to using shore power in Southampton and Warnemünde throughout the summer season and we congratulate the port authorities for their forward-thinking and innovative commitment. We at MSC Cruises are continuously striving to improve our environmental footprint, and shore power allows us to do so by drastically reducing our ships’ emissions while berthed. ‘We need more ports in other key markets in Europe to introduce shore power as quickly as possible thus joining our efforts towards net-zero emissions by 2050 and greatly reducing our local air emissions.’
Earlier this month, Cruise Baltic and MSC Cruises signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering their joint efforts to contribute to use of shore power supply in the Baltic Sea Region.
Cruise Baltic includes 32 ports and destinations in the Baltic Sea Region. By signing the agreement, Cruise Baltic has committed to increasing the number of shore power facilities in the region, while MSC Cruises has pledged to ensure that cruise ships regularly calling to the respective ports in the Baltic Sea Region use shore power supply ‘if available, as soon as possible, and no later than from 1 January 2024.’
By the end of 2022, 11 of MSC Cruises’ 21 ships – including all the new ships built since 2017 – will be fitted with shore power capability. Existing ships are currently being or will be retrofitted in the future as their itineraries take them to ports where shore power will be available.
However, MSC Cruises highlights statistics from the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) which indicate that currently there are not more than 14 ports visited by their members fitted with shore side electricity capacity, while only 7% of cruise berths will be equipped by 2025.
Linden Coppell commented: ‘We are committed to supporting authorities in developing shoreside power for our ships while in port. We have a clear and unequivocal position, that wherever shore power is available we will prioritise ships that have that capability.
‘To ensure compatibility with the visiting ships’ systems, we are collaborating closely with port authorities and engineering companies in charge of the infrastructure design. Aspects, such as onboard energy demands and ship technical systems, need to be considered as part of shore side planning.’
MSC Cruises also highlights that 14 of its vessels have been fitted with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, ensuring a Sulphur oxides reduction of 98%. By the end of 2022, the five newest ships will also be equipped with selective catalytic reduction systems, which convert nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water.
MSC World Europa and MSC Euribia, which are currently under construction and scheduled for delivery in 2022 and 2023, respectively, will be MSC Cruises’ first LNG fuelled vessels, and MSC World Europa will also be the first cruise ship deploying solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. This type of fuel cell is designed to generate electricity 20% to 30% more efficiently through a non-combustion electrochemical process when using LNG compared to traditional marine combustion-based propulsion and auxiliary engines.
‘Experience gained through the initial installation on MSC World Europa is expected to allow for scaling up future systems of this type,’ said the company.
The Cruise Division of MSC Group has also initiated various partnerships with shipyards, energy providers, infrastructure companies, technology developers and academic institutions. The company notes that these initiatives will allow further study on fuel cells, hydrogen-powered vessels and other emerging technologies that offer the potential to enable net-zero emissions ships.
It notes that ‘the company’s ambition is to increasingly study and test these potential solutions through new-build and retrofitting programs to accelerate their development, help them reach maturity, and deploy them across our fleet.’