MSC commits to achieving net zero emissions by 2050
The shipping company signs the Call to Action of the "Getting to Zero" coalition to help accelerate the decarbonization of shipping
The Cruise Division of the MSC Group today reaffirmed its long-term commitment to sustainability, by committing to achieve a net reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its maritime cruise operations by 2050. This objective, which will encompass both its contemporary MSC Cruises as well as the luxury Explora Journeys brands and which goes beyond the ambition of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce shipping emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, puts the Company in a direction to help accelerate the necessary fuel and technology developments.
MSC has signed the Coalition's Call to Action “Getting to Zero” to accelerate the decarbonization of the overall maritime sector, including cruise ships. This initiative includes 3 requirements to achieve this: establish a maritime transport objective with 0 emissions by 2050; deploy commercially viable zero-emission ships by 2030; and a joint action of the public and private sectors. The Call to Action will be delivered to the world's governments in November 2021, before COP26.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group, said: "As a family business with more than 300 years of maritime heritage, we have always felt a deep responsibility towards our marine environment and our planet. Today we are taking our commitment one step Going further by embracing a net zero emissions future in the next 3 decades. We will achieve this by investing in and supporting the accelerated development and application of innovative and cutting-edge technologies that will be deployed across our fleet, continually raising the bar for environmental performance and leading our industry.
Collaboration between operators, shipyards, technology manufacturers, academic institutions, public authorities and governments will be essential. There are already encouraging signs that these partnerships will make progress, but more can and should be done. I call on all parties to work tirelessly to this end and for the next great energy transition in our industry. "
In recent years, the company has focused on reducing the intensity of GHG emissions by introducing energy efficiency measures and operational improvement across its entire fleet. Having introduced an annual efficiency improvement of 2-4% across the entire fleet, in 2019 the company had achieved an efficiency improvement of 28% compared to 2008 and is well on track to meet the target of reducing the intensity of 40% set by IMO for 2030.
Going forward, energy efficiency improvements and operational measures alone will not be enough to put the shipping industry on the path to decarbonisation and therefore MSC's Cruise Division is actively contributing to accelerate the important technological evolution that is required. In this spirit, the Company is participating in various industry research projects that seek to develop technologies and fuels that offer the potential to enable zero-emission vessels.
- Hydrogen-powered ships: MSC's Cruise Division recently partnered with leading shipbuilder Fincantieri and energy infrastructure company Snam to jointly determine the design and construction conditions of what could be the world's first hydrogen-powered hybrid ocean cruise / LNG of the world, which would allow operations with 0 emissions in certain areas. These include the arrangement of the ship's spaces to accommodate the necessary hydrogen technologies and fuel cells, the identification of the technical parameters of the on-board systems, the calculation of the potential savings in greenhouse gas emissions and a technical and economic analysis of hydrogen supply and onshore infrastructure.
- Fuel cells in LNG-powered ships: Fuel cells offer great potential to achieve significant reductions. After ordering 3 vessels to run on LNG, a transitional fuel that offers up to 21% lower greenhouse gas emissions, MSC is looking at the integration of fuel cells as a means to achieve further reductions. In 2019, the Cruise Division of MSC and Chantiers de l'Atlantique unveiled Blue Horizon, an innovative research and development project that focuses on the integration of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology in cruise ships. powered by LNG.
- Modernizing fuel cell technology: MSC's Cruise Division has also joined a consortium with GE Power Conversion, Lloyd's Register and Ceres Power Holdings to explore how to address barriers to fuel cell adoption. in large ship applications. The project will examine how fuel cells can be integrated into the operational functionality of a ship, including the architecture and layout of existing power and propulsion, allowing the impact of using fuel cell technology to be quantified in terms of global emission reduction. The project has been funded under the UK Department of Transport's Clean Maritime Demonstration Contest.
- Low-carbon technologies and ship design: MSC's Cruise Division is also partnering with industry and academic leaders on a research project promoting low-carbon shipping by combining progressive energy technologies and innovative ship design. Led by the University of Vaasa, the CHEK Consortium project - deCarbonising sHipping by enabling Key Technology symbiosis on real vessels concept designs - involves the World Maritime University, Wärtsilä, Cargill and Lloyds Register, among others.
With this and other future projects, MSC's Cruise Division will continue to work towards a net-zero future for itself and the entire cruise industry.