MSC Cruises today reported that it has signed an agreement with shipbuilder Fincantieri and Italian energy giant Snam to jointly explore options for the design and construction of an oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ship that would be capable of zero-emissions operations in certain areas. The initial feasibility study will also cover the development of the related hydrogen bunkering infrastructure.
The announcement was made the same day the cruise line took delivery from Fincantieri of its new flagship, the 5,887 passenger MSC Seashore—at 339 meters long, the largest cruise ship to be built in Italy.
The focus of the agreement with Fincantieri and Snam will be on green hydrogen, used to generate electrical power through a fuel cell, and produced by electrolysis of water using renewable energy,.
Over the next 12 months the three companies will study key factors related to the development of oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ships. These include arranging ship spaces to accommodate hydrogen technologies and fuel cells, technical parameters of onboard systems, calculating the potential greenhouse gas emissions savings, and a technical and economic analysis of hydrogen supply and infrastructure.
This cooperation could lead to future binding agreements between the parties.
“We want to put ourselves at the forefront of the energy revolution for our sector and hydrogen can greatly contribute to this,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group. “However, today production levels remain low and hydrogen fuel is still far from being available at scale. With this project, we’re taking the lead to bring this promising technology to our fleet and the industry while sending the strongest possible signal to the market about how seriously we take our environmental commitments. As we advance with the development of the maritime technology required, we will also see that energy providers take note and ramp up production to unlock this, and that governments and the public sector step in to provide the necessary support for a project that is critical to the decarbonization of cruising and shipping.”
“Every opportunity for new solutions and technologies is a source of growth for us,” said Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono.” This one allows us to offer our customers the best of innovation to help minimize the environmental impact.”
“Snam is strongly committed to concrete initiatives for sustainable heavy transport – on road, rail and by sea promoting the use of renewable gases such hydrogen and bioLNG,” said Snam CEO Marco Alverà. “This agreement for us is part of a wider strategy to leverage on our experience, competences and technologies in green gases and energy efficiency in order to contribute to the full decarbonization of the shipping value chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly crucial in our economies.”