Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, for the construction of two hydrogen-powered luxury cruise ships.

The Explora V and VI are set to feature liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines, with a containment system for liquid hydrogen to power a 6MW fuel cell to produce emissions-free power for the hotel operations, allowing the vessels to run on ‘zero-emissions’ in port.

MSC Group, Fincantieri, and Snam partnered to develop conditions for the design and construction of oceangoing hydrogen-powered cruise ships in July 2021.

Read more: MSC Group, Fincatieri and Snam to develop world’s first oceangoing hydrogen cruise ship

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division at MSC Group, said, “Explora Journeys is building ships for tomorrow, utilising today’s latest technologies and being ready to adapt to alternative energy solutions as they become available.

“The announcement today marks another significant step forward in our goal as a business to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050 across all our cruise operation for the two brands and a further proof of our commitment to invest in the most advanced marine environmental technologies available to develop sustainable solutions for the future.”

Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Fincantieri, commented, “This is the very first major agreement for new construction after the pandemic emergency and testifies not only to the further growth of our long-standing partnership with MSC, which we thank, but also the confidence of both groups in the future of the cruise industry.

“These ships will allow us to implement cutting-edge technologies aimed at significantly improving environmental performance, laying the foundations for further developments.”

Hydrogen-powered, low carbon shipping is on the horizon

The shipping industry is in the spotlight – facing environmental mandates that require a whole new way of thinking about ship propulsion. Incremental goals such as cleaner diesel are a start, but the reality is much more significant. Monumental shifts are on the horizon, poised to drive new kinds of engines, cleaner fuels such as hydrogen, and modernised ships that reflect a greater level of environmental responsibility. Hydrogen generation on-vessel, on-demand unlocks it all.

Guided by mandates from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a UN body, shipbuilders are tasked with reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and by at least 50% by 2050. (Note that using a 2008 baseline, the 2050 goal reduces carbon intensity overall by 70 percent.)1 This is only one step toward the definitive goal: complete elimination of the industry’s notable carbon impact.

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