MSC Cruises has taken delivery of MSC Grandiosa from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, one of the world leaders in cruise ship construction. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group Chairman, attended the delivery ceremony, welcoming MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea.
Earlier in the morning a second important milestone event took place with the traditional cutting of the first steel and naming of the first World Class ship, MSC Europa, by MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago. MSC Europa is the first of five LNG- powered cruise ships on order and the first LNG ship to be built in France.
The two events marked another important step forward in MSC Cruises’ long-term commitment to environmental stewardship both at sea as well as ashore.
30% greenhouse gas reduction
In conjunction with the cutting of the first steel ceremony of MSC Europa, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l'Atlantique unveiled today a groundbreaking R&D project named PACBOAT that focuses on the integration of a new fuel cell technology demonstrator onboard the LNG-powered MSC Cruises ship. This demonstrator will produce electricity and heat using LNG. The announcement was marked by the signing of the consortium agreement between the various partners involved.
The integration of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology onboard a cruise ship is a world first. This technology operates at very high temperature (~750° C) and is more efficient for high-power marine like applications than the low-temperature Hydrogen-based Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) solutions, used for instance in the automotive sector. The SOFC technology offers a very good electrical efficiency up to 60%, and as the heat produced can be self-consumed on board, its total efficiency - heat and electricity – can be much higher, resulting in a direct reduction of energy consumption and therefore of greenhouse gas emissions.
This SOFC solution fueled by LNG would thus reduce emission of greenhouse gasses by about 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emission of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides or fine particles. In addition, it offers the advantage of being compatible with many fuels (LNG/methane, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, etc.), and thus with their future low carbon versions.
In addition to a hybrid “closed-loop” exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) which reduces ship sulphur emissions by 97 per cent, MSC Grandiosa will also be the first MSC Cruises’ ship to feature a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system which helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 80 per cent.
All other MSC Cruises ships currently under construction will feature the SCR technology including MSC Grandiosa’s sister ship, MSC Virtuosa, due to come into service in October 2020, as well as MSC Seashore, currently under construction at a different shipyard. This active emissions control technology conducts nitrogen oxide from the engine operations through a catalyst – a high-density device made from noble metals – and converts them into harmless nitrogen and water.
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