Global cruise line MSC Cruises has held a coin ceremony for its first LNG-powered ship, MSC World Europa.

The 200,000GT ship is scheduled to enter service in June 2022 and be one of most technologically and environmentally advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class.

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50KW demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board – the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.

This SOFC solution fuelled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30% compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles.

It also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said, “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations.”

“With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”