MSC Group Furthers Progress Toward Net Zero Goals

The Cruise Division of MSC Group has unveiled details of the next phase of its shore power plan. Ships will be able to plug into shoreside electricity grids in at least 15 new ports between 2024 and 2026, furthering progress toward decarbonization and reducing emissions from the company’s fleet of ships while berthed.

The new 2024-26 shore power plan includes MiamiBarcelona, Valencia, Stavanger, Norfjordied, Copenhagen, Marseille, Rotterdam, Valletta and Stockholm, and at least five Italian ports. The company intends for all ships belonging to MSC Cruises and Explora Journeys to fully utilize shore power facilities at all other ports they visit once available.

Using shore power removes the need to keep a ship’s engine running and drastically reduces in-port emissions from the vessel. MSC Cruises’ ships have successfully used shore power at the ports of Southampton and Kristiansand since February. Later this summer, the company will test the facilities at the Norwegian port of Haugesund. Other European trials are planned this year at Bergen and Alesund in Norway and Warnemunde in Germany. The company will also use shore power in the German ports of Hamburg this winter and Kiel during the summer of 2024.

MSC Cruises signed a memorandum of understanding with Cruise Baltic last year for shore power in the Baltic Sea area. Cruise Baltic has 32 ports and destinations in its region that are committed to increasing the number of shore power facilities available.

Shore power capability has been fitted on all of MSC Cruises’ new ships since 2017. Together with retrofits completed on other vessels, 67 percent of MSC Cruises’ total capacity is equipped with the technology. More ships will be retrofitted as the ports on their respective itineraries make shore power available.

All of Explora Journeys’ ships will include shore power capabilities. Explora I, the first ship in the new brand’s fleet, will enter service on July 17.

Additionally, the Cruise Division of MSC Group and Nordic energy company Gasum have signed a long-term agreement for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for MSC Cruises’ new flagship, MSC Euribia, as well as a letter of intent (LOI) covering cooperation on the supply of synthetic e-LNG made with renewable energy. This supports the Cruise Division’s strategy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its marine operations by 2050. Together, Gasum and MSC Cruises are creating an actionable roadmap for cutting emissions in MSC’s cruise operations using sizable volumes of several thousand tons of e-LNG starting in 2026.

Using LNG removes nearly all sulfur oxide and particle emissions, greatly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions and significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, LNG technology on board enables MSC Cruises to switch at any time to fully renewable liquefied biogas (bio-LNG) or synthetic gas (e-LNG), in order to reach greenhouse gas emissions reductions of up to 100 percent.

MSC Euribia recently demonstrated that emissions-neutral cruising is already possible by sailing the first-ever net-zero greenhouse gas emissions voyage for four days from France’s Saint-Nazaire to Copenhagen.

Synthetic gas or e-LNG gas can be produced synthetically through the power-to-gas process. First, hydrogen is produced from water using renewable electricity sourced from wind, solar or other options. The hydrogen can then be processed into methane by adding non-fossil carbon dioxide obtained from carbon capture. This resulting synthetic renewable methane gas is fully interchangeable with natural gas and biogas. When it is liquefied, it is fully interchangeable with LNG and liquified biogas, meaning it can be transported through existing infrastructure—trucks, ships, pipelines—and use existing gas grids.

Synthetic gas can be fed directly at any ratio into dual fuel engines installed on existing ships, which currently run on natural gas, biogas, LNG or liquefied biogas. There is no need for any additional investments in new equipment or modifications.

Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market each year by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean a cumulative annual carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons for Gasum’s customers.

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