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Geneva, Switzerland, 10 July 2024 – Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela today toured MSC World Europa in Valletta as the ship officially inaugurated the port’s shore power facility, the first to be operational in the Mediterranean Sea.

Valetta’s local power grid supplied electricity for all MSC World Europa’s operations while the ship was berthed to allow all engines to be switched off and eliminate the vessel’s direct emissions at the port to improve local air quality.  

The Prime Minister was shown around the 22-deck LNG-powered ship by the Master of MSC World Europa, Captain Stefano Battinelli.  Mr Abela and other Maltese government officials were also given a presentation by Michele Francioni, MSC Cruises’ Chief Energy Transition Officer, on the line’s decarbonisation strategy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 for its marine operations.

The vessel is operating 7-night cruises throughout 2024 and 2025 between Malta, Spain, France and Italy.   

Michele Francioni, Chief Energy Transition Officer, MSC Cruises, said, “Shore power is one very important element of our continued commitment towards decarbonisation with most of our fleet equipped to eliminate local emissions and improve local air quality when the ships are at berth in port, and we can switch off their engines as local shoreside electricity powers the operation.

“It was a great honour to show the Prime Minister of Malta of how his country has led the way for shore power in the Mediterranean Sea, our major market for holidays at sea, and we look forward to many more ports in the region and throughout the world being equipped in the future so that the cruise and broader maritime sector can further reduce local emissions in ports.”

MSC Cruises’ target by the end of 2024, when 16 of the line’s 22 vessels will be equipped to receive shoreside electricity at a port, is for 220 shore power connections among its fleet at destinations in China, Norway, Germany, the UK and Malta.  As more ports make shore power available, MSC Cruises’ ships will use local electricity grids.  

MSC Cruises aims to add at least 15 new ports to its shore power plan between 2024 and 2026.  Among them are Barcelona, Hamburg, Valencia, Marseille, Copenhagen, and five in Italy at Genoa, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples and Trieste, plus at the company’s new cruise terminal in Miami that will become fully operational next year.

MSC Cruises has categorised its strategy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 for its marine operations into three pillars of activity; ship and engine technology – which includes shore power connectivity - operational efficiency and renewable fuels.