MSC Cruises on Monday conducted a coin ceremony and laid the keel for the cruise line's first LNG (liquefied natural gas)-powered ship, MSC World Europa, at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The 200,000-plus gross tonnage ship is currently under construction and delivery is planned for 2022. MSC Europa will become the first cruise ship to utilize an LNG fuel cell, an enhancement over existing LNG technology on cruise ships.
Performing the traditional maritime ritual of placing two coins under the ship's keel were Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and husband Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, and Aurore Bezard from the human resources department of Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The coin ceremony is the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project and the ship's operational life at sea.
Shown left to right above are Zoe Africa Vago, Pierfrancesco Vago, Aurore Bezard and Laurent Castaing, as MSC Cruises and Chantiers d l'Atlantique conducted a coin ceremony and keel laying for MSC World Europa.
MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and uses LNG to produce electricity and heat. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent, compared with a what's produced by a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles.
MSC World Europa (rendering shown above) will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards.
MSC Cruises' next new flagship, MSC Virtuosa, is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire; it's slated for delivery sometime in 2021. The cruise line also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, one each for the MSC World and Meraviglia ship classes.