MSC World Europa to Be Powered by Clean Energy

The cruise division of MSC Group, in association with Bloom Energy Corporation and Chantiers de l’Atlantique (CdA), has announced plans to launch the first cruise ship operating on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. MSC World Europa, a new ship, currently under construction at the CdA shipyard, will be fitted with 150 kilowatts of Bloom fuel cells. Bloom will provide auxiliary power to the ship through liquefied natural gas (LNG), one of the cleanest marine fuels available today.

Bloom claims its fuel-flexible platform is designed to generate electricity 20 to 30 percent more efficiently through a non-combustion electrochemical process when utilizing LNG compared to traditional marine combustion-based propulsion and auxiliary engines. When running on LNG, Bloom Energy’s technology reduces carbon equivalent emissions up to 60 percent compared to incumbent propulsion sources, such as dual fuel diesel electric, and emits virtually zero harmful air pollutants like sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter.

“The installation of SOFC technology onboard the MSC World Europa reflects the success of our proactive and challenging collaboration with our partners and suppliers to identify solutions to help us reach our 2050 net zero emissions target,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, cruise division, MSC Group, in a press release. “This is one of the many projects we are working on, and we will be relentless in our pursuit of the best solutions to reach this key objective for us. As part of this project, the crew of MSC World Europa will be specifically trained to operate this innovative technology and their participation will greatly contribute to the future development of SOFC technology for our industry. We hope to be able to install this technology on board our future new builds at a much larger scale to bring us ever closer to zero emissions.”

With more than 100 cruise ships requiring over four gigawatts of power commissioned for construction by 2027 across the cruise industry, Bloom’s fuel cells unlock a viable pathway to decarbonization while ensuring cruise ship passengers and coastal communities with heavy maritime traffic enjoy cleaner air. As an added benefit for cruise ship passengers, noise pollution and mechanical vibrations are substantially reduced when Bloom’s fuel cells are used as a power source aboard ships.

In 2019, CdA and the cruise division of MSC Group unveiled Blue Horizon; an initiative that integrates SOFC technology on LNG-powered cruise ships to decarbonize the maritime industry. Blue Horizon for MSC World Europa has received approval from the classification company Bureau Veritas.

This deployment of Bloom’s solid oxide technology onboard MSC World Europa is part of a broader strategy for the cruise division of MSC Group, which aims to achieve net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. 

Sea trials for MSC World Europa are expected to commence in the second half of 2022. Larger fuel cell installations are anticipated on additional ships in collaboration with CdA in the future.

Related Stories

Pandaw Secures New Funding, Plans to Restart in September 2022

Regent Debuts Holiday Season Voyages for 2022-23

Windstar Cruises Hires Two New Sales Team Members

Norwegian to Be First Line to Seasonally Homeport in Panama City