How MSC Cruises’ new ships aim for zero impact on the environment

How MSC Cruises’ new ships aim for zero impact on the environment

NEWS: The new MSC Cruises Virtuosa and Seashore come into service soon and are equipped with a wide range of leading-edge technologies and equipment that minimize their impact on the environment.
Both ships will feature hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR), achieving a 98 per cent reduction of sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions and reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90 per cent.

Their wastewater treatment systems have been designed in line with the International Maritime Organization’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution and achieve purification standards that are higher than most wastewater treatment facilities ashore.

msc cruises seashore cruise cruiseship ship newship genoa italty
20 August 2020, Monfalcone: Water enters the dry dock to float MSC Seashore for the first time. (Photo credit: Filippo Vinardi/Fincantieri)

All MSC Cruises’ new builds will also be equipped with shore-to-ship power connectivity, allowing them to connect to local power grids while at berth at ports where this infrastructure is available.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman says, “Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation and this is the journey we are on today. As we work with our partners to identify new technologies that will bring us closer to this goal with each new ship that we build and bring into service, we continue to equip our ships with the latest and most effective technologies in the market.”

In parallel, MSC Cruises has announced that it is partnering with several industry leaders in a research project that promotes low-carbon shipping by combining progressive energy technologies and innovative ship design.

Led by the University of Vaasa, the CHEK Consortium – deCarbonising Shipping by enabling Key Technology symbiosis on real vessels concept designs project – involves, in addition to MSC Cruises, the World Maritime University, Wärtsilä, Cargill, Lloyds Register, Silverstream Technologies, Hasytec, Deltamarin, Climeon and BAR Technologies.

MSC Cruises Seashore cruise ship infinity pool and deck

“We are delighted to partner with other industry leaders in their fields to together research and develop new solutions that will support the road to decarbonization of shipping. This is another example of our commitment to the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technologies and solutions,” says Vago.

MSC Cruise Seashore cruise ship main pool

The consortium is in line to receive significant funding from Horizon 2020 – the European Union’s framework programme for research and innovation. The project will seek to demonstrate the synergistic benefits of innovative technologies including hydrogen propulsion, ultrasound antifouling, hull air-lubrication, waste to energy systems and digitalized optimization software, fully integrated to maximize efficiency across all aspects of ship operation. Results will be widely disseminated to support improved competency across the industry.

MSC Virtuosa cruise ship float out

Looking ahead, in 2022 MSC World Europa, the Company’s first LNG-powered vessel, will be delivered and in 2021 work will begin on a second LNG ship, the fifth Meraviglia-class ship.

MSC World Europa will be amongst the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world, bringing a range of environmental innovations to the market. Chief amongst these is a 50-kilowatt, LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell technology project that offers a potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a further 25 per cent compared to a conventional LNG engine.

MSC Virtuosa cruise ship float out bow exterior

As sustainable, non-fossil-based fuels like bio LNG become available at scale, MSC Cruises anticipates their widespread deployment on its LNG-powered ships to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Linden Coppell, MSC Cruises’ Director of Sustainability says, “Every new ship that joins our fleet incorporates solutions to minimize our environmental footprint. MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore will be no exception. As new technologies are identified, we also work to improve the existing fleet, investigating retrofit opportunities, incorporating new energy reduction measures, working extensively with industry experts and seeking out drop-in alternative fuels to achieve the ambitious carbon intensity reduction goals of our industry.”

More details on environmental technologies on board MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore include:

Air Emissions: MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore will feature hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems on all their engines. This technology achieves a 98 per cent reduction of sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions. As with MSC Grandiosa, the ships will also be equipped with cutting-edge selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90 per cent.

Both ships will be equipped with shore-to-ship power connectivity, allowing them to connect to local power grids while at ports where this infrastructure is available. This allows to minimize engine use at berth, leading to a substantial emissions reduction when the ships are close to urban areas.

Wastewater: The ships will feature advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in line with the International Maritime Organization’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution, with purification standards that are higher than most wastewater treatment facilities ashore. Ballast water treatment systems will prevent the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges.

Protecting Marine Life: Both ships will be equipped with an underwater radiated noise management system, with hull and engine room designs that minimize acoustic sound impact, reducing their potential effects on marine fauna, most particularly on marine mammals in the surrounding waters.

Energy Efficiency: All MSC Cruises’ new builds incorporate a wide range of energy efficient equipment that help reduce and optimize engine use. These include smart ventilation and advanced air conditioning systems with automated energy recovery loops that redistribute heat and cold to reduce demand. The ships use LED lighting controlled by smart management systems to enhance further the energy saving profile. In partnership with the shipyards, all new builds are fitted with remote energy monitoring and analysis systems, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimize operational efficiency onboard.

Source/photos: MSC Cruises