It goes beyond the ambition of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce net GHG emissions from maritime transport by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008.
The line is already involved in several projects that seek to identify alternative fuels and develop more sustainable technologies.
Continuous investment and collaboration
Explaining this decision, Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division, MSC Group, said: “As a family business with over three hundred years of maritime heritage, we have always felt a deep responsibility towards our marine environment and our planet. Today we are taking our commitment even further by embracing a net zero emissions future over the next three decades. ‘
According to the Executive Chairman, the ambition will be achieved “by investing in and otherwise supporting the accelerated development and implementation of innovative and cutting-edge technologies to be deployed in our fleet, by continuously raising the bar of environmental performance and by advancing our industry. ‘
He continued: “Collaboration between operators, shipyards, technology manufacturers, academia, public authorities and governments will be essential. There are already encouraging signs of such partnerships allowing progress, but more can and must be done. ‘
Giving a boost to other industry bodies, Vago said: “I call on all parties to work tirelessly towards this end and to achieve the next great energy transition in our industry.”
“Call to action”
The Getting to Zero coalition includes more than 150 companies from the maritime, energy, infrastructure and financial sectors and was created by the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum in 2019.
It follows a 2018 call to action launched by 34 stakeholders dedicated to decarbonizing maritime transport, which will be delivered to governments around the world ahead of COP26 – the United Nations climate change conference to be held from 1 November 12 in Scotland – which has three requirements: zero-emission navigation target by 2050; deploy commercially viable zero emission ships by 2030; and joint action by the private and public sectors.
The cruise division of the MSC Group claims to have introduced an annual efficiency improvement of 2-4% across its fleet, alleging that in 2019 it achieved a 28% efficiency improvement compared to 2008 and is therefore already on track to meet the IMO’s 2030 40 targets. % intensity reduction target.
But a spokesperson for the company said: “Going forward, energy efficiency improvements and operational measures alone will not be enough to put the shipping industry on the path to decarbonization, and for this reason, the MSC cruise division is actively helping to accelerate the significant technological change that is required.
“With this in mind, the company is participating in several industrial research projects aimed at developing technologies and fuels that offer the potential to enable zero-emission ships.”
Among these is research on hydrogen ships with the company partner with Fincantieri and Snam to determine the design and build conditions for what could become the world’s first hybrid hydrogen / liquefied natural gas (LNG) oceanic cruise ship.
The company is also exploring the integration of fuel cells as a way to achieve further reductions: the cruise division of MSC and Chantiers de l’Atlantique unveiled “Blue Horizon” in 2019 – a research and development project focused on the integration of a solid oxide fuel. Cellular technology (SOFC) on LNG-fueled cruise ships.
The cruise division of the MSC Group has joined a consortium with GE Power Conversion, Lloyd’s Register and Ceres Power Holdings to explore how to overcome barriers to the adoption of fuel cells in large vessel applications – a project funded by the UK Department for Transports Clean Maritime demonstration competition.
The company is also partnering with industry leaders and academics through the CHEK consortium – Decarbonising Shipping by enabled Key Technology – which aims to promote low-carbon shipping by combining progressive energy technologies and a innovative ship design.