MSC, Fincantieri and Snam to Develop World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ship

Fincantieri, Snam and MSC Cruises have joined hands to jointly develop the world’s first hydrogen powered cruise ship. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in this regard, between the three companies, to mutually establish the conditions for the design and construction of the world’s first oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ship.

MSC, Fincantieri and Snam to Develop World's First Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ship
Image Via: MSC

The three companies would be primarily carrying out a study, aimed in evaluating the feasibility of constructing and designing “the world’s first ocean-going cruise ship powered by hydrogen“, stated a press-release by MSC Cruises, Fincantieri and Snam.

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The cruise ship would be permitting zero-emission operations, in some specific areas, and the development of hydrogen bunkering infrastructure. Said the MSC Group.

Green hydrogen could be produced without the use of fossil fuels, by using renewable energy to split water. This process is called electrolysis. The generation of Green hydrogen using electrolysis can be emissions-free on a full lifecycle basis, said MSC. A fuel cell can be used to generate electrical power, which emits only water vapor and heat. Green hydrogen produced by this methodology, holds a great potential to promote decarbonization in the shipping industry (including the cruise industry), in its pure form as well as a hydrogen-derived marine fuel.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division, MSC Group, said, “As a company that has long made environmental sustainability its focus, we want to put ourselves at the forefront of the energy revolution for our sector, and hydrogen can greatly contribute to this. 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”.

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The three companies would be jointly studying the key factors related to the development of ocean-going hydrogen-powered cruise ships. Including areas like arrangement ship spaces to accommodate hydrogen technologies and fuel cells, technical parameters of onboard systems, calculating potential greenhouse gas emissions savings and a technical and economic analysis of hydrogen supply and infrastructure, in the next twelve months. This is aimed at highlighting the need to use hydrogen fuel in the shipping industry, in order to achieve decarbonization, thus attracting public and private investments to make this possible at a much larger scale.

Giuseppe Bono, the CEO of Fincantieri, a shipbuilding company said, “Every opportunity for new solutions and technologies is a source of growth for us. This one allows us to offer our customers the best of innovation to help reduce the environmental impact”

Marco Alverà, the CEO of global energy infrastructure operator, Snam, said that the company is strongly committed to concrete initiatives for sustainable heavy transport – on the road, rail, and by the sea, thus encouraging the use of renewable gases, like hydrogen and BioLNG.

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Alverà further commented, “This agreement for us is part of a wider strategy to leverage on our experience, competencies, and technologies in green gases and energy efficiency to contribute to the full decarbonization of the shipping value chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly crucial in our economies. Hydrogen could be a key enabler in achieving the target of net-zero emissions in shipping, accounting for approximately 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, as well as in all the hard to abate sectors”.

MSC Cruises aims to achieve net carbon neutral operations by 2050. “To accomplish this objective, the company is working in partnership with a wide range of shipyards, suppliers, manufacturers, and other organizations as well as investing in different upcoming technologies and solutions for its fleet. The implementation of the cooperation above described will possibly be the object of future binding agreements to be discussed by the parties in relation thereto.” wrote the MSC Group.

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