MSC World Europa will be powered by LNG

MSC World Europa reaches next build milestone

In a maritime coin ceremony tradition at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.

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

Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique, performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the shipowner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC Cruises has laid the keel for its first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship MSC World Europa at  the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.”

Laurent Castaing, general manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”

MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt 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 offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.  


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