Marseille, 26 April, 2023 – The Cruise Division of MSC Group and TotalEnergies Marine Fuels have successfully completed the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation at the Port of Marseille Fos, Southern France, for MSC Cruises’ MSC World Europa.
MSC World Europa, which was delivered in October 2022 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique at the Saint Nazaire shipyard in France, is 333 meters long and the best performing large cruise ship operating in the world in terms of CO2eq emissions per passenger.
TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ chartered LNG bunker barge, the Gas Vitality, refuelled the MSC Cruises vessel via a ship-to-ship transfer of 2 500 m of LNG at the port on April 22, while guest operations continued as normal. The successful execution of these simultaneous operations (SIMOPs) underscores TotalEnergies’ Marine Fuels ability to safely deliver commercial LNG bunkering operations.
The operation marks the start of the previously announced LNG bunker supply contract between TotalEnergies and the Cruise Division of MSC Group in March 2021, as the companies drive forward their respective decarbonization plans. Under the agreement, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels will supply approximately 45,000 tons per year of LNG to MSC Cruises’ vessels at Marseille.
“We are excited to support the Cruise Division of MSC Group in their decarbonization journey and to help the Port of Marseille Fos become an LNG bunker hub for the Mediterranean region,” said Philippe Charleux - Senior Vice President Lubricants and Specialties, TotalEnergies. “This operation also expands our LNG bunkering capabilities to the cruise ship segment, demonstrating our ability to serve a broader range of shipping clients, as the industry strives to reduce emissions. In line with TotalEnergies’ Climate ambition, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with our industry partners to develop and scale up new, lower-carbon and ultimately, zero-carbon fuel solutions for shipping.”
Patrick Pourbaix, Managing Director of MSC Cruises in France, said: “This first LNG bunkering operation in Marseille is an important milestone for our company as we welcome MSC World Europa for her first summer season in the Mediterranean. Featuring a range of unprecedented innovations in terms of environmental and marine technologies MSC World Europa represents a major step forward on our journey towards meeting our target of net-zero emissions by 2050. LNG is not only the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, but also a transitional fuel as we look ahead to source and use synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels as soon as they become available at scale.”
Marine LNG sharply reduces emissions from ships and significantly improves air quality, in particular when at berth for the benefit of port cities and communities in coastal areas. The use of marine LNG therefore impacts positively not only the city where LNG bunkering will take place, Marseille. It also paves the way forward for all ports in the Mediterranean to meet the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations taking effect in 2025, as part of its new Emission Control Area (ECA) designation. Used as a marine fuel, LNG helps to cut: sulfur emissions and fine particle emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85% and Greenhouse gas emissions by around 20%.
TotalEnergies supports the growing role of LNG in shipping’s energy transition
TotalEnergies Marine Fuels has actively invested in LNG bunkering infrastructure, critical to support its shipping customers’ decarbonization ambitions through the uptake of LNG as a marine fuel. The Company currently charters two 18,600-m³ LNG bunker vessels: the Gas Agility, at the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands; and the Gas Vitality, at the Port of Marseille-Fos, France.
Since the start of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ LNG bunkering operations in November 2020, the Gas Agility and the Gas Vitality have performed over a hundred LNG bunkering operations. Notably, both vessels have conducted world-premier, large-scale operations across these bunker hubs with high levels of performance and safety records.
TotalEnergies, the world’s third largest LNG player
TotalEnergies is the world’s third largest LNG player with a market share of around 12% and a global portfolio of about 50 Mt/y thanks to its interests in liquefaction plants in all geographies. The Company benefits from an integrated position across the LNG value chain, including production, transportation, access to nearly 20 Mt/y of regasification capacity in Europe, trading, and LNG bunkering. TotalEnergies’ ambition is to increase the share of natural gas in its sales mix close to 50% by 2030, to reduce carbon emissions and eliminate methane emissions associated with the gas value chain, and to work with local partners to promote the transition from coal to natural gas.
About TotalEnergies Marine Fuels
With over three decades of market experience, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels is TotalEnergies’ dedicated business unit in charge of worldwide bunkering activities. A long-term partner to the global shipping industry, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels serves more than 200 shipping customers across over 130 ports in Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. Its headquarters is located in Singapore, with two satellite offices in Paris and Geneva.
In order to help its shipping customers adopt the cleanest available marine fuels today, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels has made key commitments to supply marine LNG, bioLNG and biofuels at strategic bunker hubs. As part of its ongoing work in various maritime coalitions and cross-industry R&D initiatives, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels is also helping to shape the production of decarbonized future fuels for shipping.
MSC World Europa’s environmental technologies
MSC World Europa is the world’s first contemporary cruise ship to feature brand new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology powered by LNG. The ship includes a 150-kilowatt SOFC demonstrator that uses LNG to produce electricity and heat on board in a highly efficient way by means of an electrochemical reaction.
MSC World Europa is equipped with shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, as well as with an advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS) that meets the world’s highest regulatory requirements, including the so-called Baltic standard. It treats all wastewater produced onboard to close to tap water standards. The ship also includes a ballast water treatment system that prevents the introduction of invasive species in the marine environment through ballast water discharges, in full compliance with IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention.
The vessel has an entire team of crew dedicated to implementing the strict waste management protocols which separate all wastes into seven distinct types, for example, glass, plastic, aluminum and paper, with specialised equipment to crush or bundle these waste types in the ship’s waste management facility.
In addition, MSC World Europa features underwater radiated noise management system to minimise disturbance to marine life and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use and hotel energy needs to reduce emissions further. It is also fitted with enhanced automatic data collection systems for remote energy monitoring and advanced analysis, allowing real-time shoreside support to optimise operational efficiency onboard.
About the Cruise Division of MSC Group
The Cruise Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage, is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has two distinct brands within its structure - the contemporary and luxury brands.
MSC Cruises, the contemporary brand, is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
Its fleet comprises 21 modern vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels and is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025.
MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programmes and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about contemporary brand’s itineraries and experience on board its ships please see here.
Meanwhile the luxury brand, Explora Journeys, is set to start operating in 2023 with a fleet with the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available. The first of which will have a gross tonnage of 63,900 GT and feature 461 of the largest suites at sea, all with ocean front terraces. These luxury ships will introduce to the luxury segment a broad range of new guest experiences and other activities as well as generous ratios of public spaces, in addition to showcasing highly innovative design. For further information about Explora Journeys please see here.
MSC has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal to achieve net zero emissions for its operations by 2050. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment please see here.
Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments please see here.