Fincantieri: MSC, Fincantieri and SNAM together for the world's first hydrogen-powered cruise ship

(To Fincantieri)

The Cruise Division of the MSC Group, Fincantieri and Snam today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly evaluate the design and construction of the world's first hydrogen-powered cruise ship.

The company that owns the third largest cruise brand in the world, which is part of the leading global shipping and logistics group MSC, one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world and one of the leading international energy infrastructure operators have joined forces to initially build a feasibility study on the design and construction of the world's first large hydrogen-powered cruise ship, which would allow zero-emission operations in some areas, as well as the development of the related hydrogen bunkering infrastructure.

Hydrogen can be produced without fossil fuels, using renewable energy to divide water in a process called electrolysis, thus emissions-free throughout its life cycle. It can be used to generate electricity through fuel cells, emitting only water vapor and heat. This type of “green” hydrogen, both in its pure form and as a hydrogen-derived fuel, has great potential to contribute to the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, including cruising.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group, said: “As a company that has long focused on environmental sustainability, we want to be at the forefront of the energy revolution for our sector and hydrogen can make a significant contribution 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 we want to introduce this promising technology into our fleet and 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 necessary technology, I am certain that energy suppliers will also accelerate production, and governments and the public sector will intervene with the necessary support for a project that is fundamental for the decarbonisation of cruises and navigation. Given the long-term commitment of our Group in Italy, we are particularly pleased to join forces with two leading Italian companies on this key project for us and for the entire sector ".

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “Every opportunity to develop new solutions and technologies is a source of growth for us. This allows us to offer our customers the best of innovation to help minimize the environmental impact ".

Marco Alverà, Chief Executive Officer of Snam, declared: “Shipping today accounts for around 3% of CO2 emissions globally. The use of hydrogen can contribute to achieving the goal of net zero emissions in this sector as well as in all hard-to-abate ones. 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, with the aim of contributing to the full decarbonisation of the shipping chain, including ports and logistics, which will be increasingly important in our economies ".

Over the next 12 months, the three companies will study the key factors related to the development of large hydrogen-powered cruise ships. These include the organization of on-board spaces to accommodate new H2 technologies and fuel cells, the definition of the technical parameters of the on-board systems, the calculation of potential savings on greenhouse gas emissions and a technical and economic analysis of the supply. of hydrogen and related infrastructure.

The Cruise 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 others. organizations, as well as investing in different technologies and solutions for their fleet.

The implementation of the activities described above will possibly be the subject of future binding agreements to be defined between the parties.

Photo: Fincantieri archive

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