TRIESTE – MSC cruises, Fincantieri and Snam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to evaluate the design and construction of the world’s first hydrogen-powered cruise ship. It is likely that, if the agreement develops further, the ship will be built at the Monfalcone shipyard.
Over the next 12 months, the three companies will study the key factors related to developing large hydrogen-powered cruise ships. They will examine the organization of spaces onboard (to host technologies and fuel cells), the definition of the technical parameters of the onboard systems, the calculation of potential savings on greenhouse gas emissions, and technical and economic analysis of the supply of hydrogen and related infrastructure.
The Cruiser Division of the MSC Group is committed to achieving the zero-emissions target for its fleet operations by 2050. To achieve this, the Company is working in partnership with a large number of shipyards, suppliers, manufacturers and other organizations, as well as investing in various technologies and solutions for its fleet.
Hydrogen can be produced without fossil fuels, using renewable energy to split water in a process called electrolysis, thus emissions-free throughout its life cycle. They can use it to generate electricity through fuel cells, emitting only water vapour and heat. This type of “green” hydrogen, both in its pure form and as a hydrogen-derived fuel, has excellent potential to contribute to the decarbonization of the maritime sector, including cruising.
«As a company that has long focused on sustainability, we want to be at the forefront of the energy revolution for our sector, and hydrogen can greatly contribute in this field. However, production levels remain low today, and hydrogen fuel is still far from being available on a large scale. With this project – explained Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group – we want to introduce this promising technology in our fleet and in the sector 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 necessary technology, I am confident that energy suppliers will also accelerate production. Governments and the public sector will step in with the necessary support for a critical project to the decarbonization of cruising and shipping. Given our Group’s long-term commitment in Italy, we are particularly pleased to join forces with two leading Italian companies on this key project for us and the entire sector».
«Every opportunity to develop new solutions and technologies is a source of growth for us. This allows us to offer our customers the best in innovation,” commented Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, “to help minimize the environmental impact».
Marco Alverà, Chief Executive Officer of Snam, declared: «Maritime transport today represents around 3% of CO2 emissions globally. The use of hydrogen can contribute to achieving the goal of net-zero emissions in this sector and all those that are difficult to reduce. Snam is strongly committed to promoting sustainable mobility by road, rail and sea through concrete actions that promote the use of renewable gases such as hydrogen and Bio-LNG. This agreement is part of a broader strategy aimed at leveraging Snam’s experience, skills and technologies in renewable gases and energy efficiency, intending to fully decarbonize the shipping chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly important in our economies».