Cruise Industry

MSC Cruises calls for bio-fuel scalability following first-ever net-zero voyage

MSC Cruises has announced the results of the cruise industry’s first-ever net-zero emissions voyage aboard MSC Euribia, which it said shows the need for regulatory and financial incentives for fuel producers to scale-up their bio-fuels production.

MSC Euribia in June sailed a four-day voyage from Saint-Nazaire in France to Copenhagen in Denmark, using bio-LNG, the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly method recognized under the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive known as RED II.

Bio-LNG is a biofuel made by processing organic waste flows, such as organic household and industrial waste, manure, and sewage sludge. It’s more environmentally-friendly than standard LNG as it captures and gasses from naturally occurring decay and uses it for energy.

MSC Euribia

The ship was also built with a suite of environmentally friendly technologies, resulting in various optimizations and energy efficiency measures, including optimal speed profiles, routing, trim and engine configuration.

All the required heat for galleys, heating and ventilation systems as well as production of hot water onboard was recovered from the ship’s engines, negating the need for boilers, while computer systems enabled strict management of the ship’s hotel-side energy consumption.

This resulted in a saving of 43 tons of fuel, with an 11% improvement on efficiency compared to a digital twin of the ship (an ashore virtual ship) that reproduced the optimum energy flow and mirrored the fuel utilization onboard.

MSC Cruises’ attempt to achieve net-zero emissions with this voyage also extended to the supply chain of the fuel used, with each batch of bio-LNG produced having been certified by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification.

MSC used a blend of bio-LNG that it says needs to be made more widely available.

“The MSC Euribia’s pioneering voyage was a significant achievement and proved that net zero GHG emissions cruising is possible today and well ahead of the 2050 target for the industry,” said Linden Coppell, vice president of sustainability and ESG at MSC Cruises.

“We are eager for the appropriate regulatory and financial incentives for fuel producers to provide the fuels needed, at the scale that is needed, which, alongside technology, will power the industry’s journey towards decarbonization,” Coppell added.

MSC Cruises said it will use the data collected during MSC Euribia’s net zero emissions sailing to drive down further the emissions intensity across the fleet.

Bio-LNG is commercially available and is being used as a drop-in marine fuel by operators in Europe, North America, and Asia but is not yet available at the scale required by the cruise industry, with bio-LNG bunkering available at only 70 ports worldwide.

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