French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique has launched the first LNG-powered vessel it is building for Switzerland-based cruise operator MSC Cruises.
Chantiers held a launching ceremony for the LNG-powered MSC World Europa at its yard in Saint-Nazaire on December 2, according to a joint statement.
The yard would now move the vessel to a wet dock for work to continue on the ship until its delivery in November 2022, the statement said.
In addition, the two firms also confirmed the installation of a fuel cell pilot plant on board MSC World Europa known as Blue Horizon.
The technology would use LNG to convert fuel into electricity at “one of the highest efficiencies of any power solution available today, producing electricity and heat on board.”
MSC World Europa would welcome its first guests from December 2022 and would spend its inaugural season in the Gulf region, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, giving guests the “ultimate winter cruise experience.”
Keel laid for LNG-powered MSC Euribia
Besides floating out MSC World Europa, Chantiers held a keel-laying ceremony for MSC Cruises’ second LNG-powered ship, MSC Euribia.
This vessel should enter service in June 2023.
Chantiers will also build a third LNG-powered ship, World Europa II. Work on this vessel is due to start in early 2023.
MSC Cruises said the total investment in these LNG-powered vessels exceeds 3 billion euros ($3.38 billion).
In addition, TotalEnergies will bunker these three ships in the French port of Marseille, using its second LNG bunkering vessel it has chartered from MOL.
China’s Hudong has recently delivered the 18,600-cbm capacity Gas Vitality. The vessel should later this month arrive in France.