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MSC Signs Deal to Explore Feasibility of World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ship

MSC Signs Deal to Explore Feasibility of World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Cruise Ship

MSC Cruises has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fincantieri and Snam to being a process that will eventually lead to the construction of the world’s first oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ship.

The MoU will see the three companies explore the possibilities of using ‘green’ hydrogen as a way of powering an oceangoing cruise ship, but the reality is still a long way off.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group warned that “production levels [of green hydrogen] 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.”

Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen can be produced without fossil fuels, using renewable energy to split water in a process called electrolysis and can therefore be emissions-free on a full lifecycle basis.

It can be used to generate electrical power through a fuel cell, emitting only water vapour and heat. This type of ‘green’ hydrogen holds great potential to contribute to the decarbonisation of the shipping industry, including cruising, whether in its pure form or as a hydrogen-derived fuel.

Zero Emissions

Marco Alverà, Snam’s CEO said, “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.

Snam is strongly committed to concrete initiatives for sustainable heavy transport – on road, rail and by sea – promoting the use of renewable gases such hydrogen and bioLNG.”

“This agreement for us is part of a wider strategy to leverage on our experience, competences and technologies in green gases and energy efficiency in order to contribute to the full decarbonisation of the shipping value chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly crucial in our economies.”

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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