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World’s first net-zero cruise ship saves 43 tonnes of fuel on first voyage

MSC Cruises’ newest liquid natural gas-powered cruise ship has achieved an overall saving of 43 tonnes of bio-LNG fuel during the world’s first net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cruise ship voyage.

According to the company, the MSC Euribia went on a four-day voyage and performed 11% better than the ship’s digital twin – a virtual ship reproducing the optimum energy flow and utilisation on board. “This enabled the vessel to achieve an overall saving of 43 tonnes of fuel,” it said.

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The vessel sailed from Saint Nazaire, France to Copenhagen, Denmark, between 3 and 8 June 2023.

According to MSC, optimal speed profiles, routing, trim and engine configuration, and strict optimisation of the hotel's energy consumption, including HVAC, galleys, and lightings, ensured that MSC Euribia never had to use more than two of its four engines available during the voyage.

It added that all the required heat for galleys, heating systems and hot water on board was recovered from MSC Euribia’s engines, meaning there was no need to utilise the boilers for the entire voyage.

“Achieving net-zero performance was made possible by using bio-LNG as a fuel,” it said. “MSC Euribia used bio-LNG using a mass-balance system, a method recognised by the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). Each batch of bio-LNG produced was certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC).

Michele Francioni, Senior Vice President of Optimisation for the Cruise Division of MSC Group, commented: “We are extremely proud of this achievement, that proves net-zero cruising is possible today. Our engineers on board and our crew led by Captain Battinelli did a fantastic job optimising the ship’s operation. MSC Euribia truly has the most energy-efficient cruise ship design to-date, but we need greater availability of renewable fuels for the wider maritime industry to consistently repeat this feat. With the right level of support from governments and international institutions in incentivising acceleration of technological advancements and renewable fuels availability, the industry can achieve net-zero emissions cruising by 2050,”.

Meanwhile, MSC recently signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with fuel supplier Gasum to gain access to liquefied synthetic gas, or e-LNG, a renewable fuel produced using hydrogen, created by hydrolysis with renewable energy and captured carbon.

“The partnership with Gasum will enable us to access new and cleaner fuels needed to make a significant step toward net zero cruising,” said Linden Coppell, Vice President of Sustainability and ESG for MSC Cruises. “We need more suppliers like Gasum to step up and support our industry. We are ready and waiting to buy more of these new fuels. In the meantime, we will continue to learn from the data from MSC Euribia’s net zero GHG voyage and use these findings as a benchmark for delivering our next LNG vessel.”

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