Total has announced a supply agreement for approximately 45,000 tonnes per year of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) for MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships.
MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, said the agreement is a key step in the company’s journey towards reducing the environmental footprint, for which LNG is currently a crucial component.
“As we prepare to launch our first of three upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships in 2022, through this key agreement Marseille (France) will become our hub in the Mediterranean for the refuelling of our latest-generation and most environmentally advanced ships,” he said.
President, Marketing & Services at Total, Alexis Vovk, said the company will develop the first LNG bunker supply chain in France, at the port of Marseille-Fos.
“Total will continue to step up investments in LNG bunkering to ultimately reach its target of serving more than 10 per cent of the global market. By doing so, we will continue to accompany the energy transition of the shipping industry and the reduction of carbon emissions of our customers, in line with our Climate ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050, together with society,” Mr Vovk said.
Used as a marine fuel, LNG sharply reduces emissions from ships, resulting in a significant improvement in air quality, particularly for communities in coastal areas and port cities.
This agreement, therefore, impacts positively not only the city where LNG bunkering will take place, Marseille, but also all the ports where the cruise ships will make their future call around the Mediterranean Sea.
MSC Cruises’ LNG powered vessels will be amongst the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world, bringing a range of environmental innovations to the market.
Chief amongst these is a 50-kilowatt, LNG-powered solid oxide fuel cell technology project that offers the potential to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional LNG engine.
Total will bunker MSC Cruises’ LNG-powered cruise ships sailing on Mediterranean routes by ship-to-ship transfer, using its second LNG bunker vessel currently under construction. This vessel will meet the highest technical and environmental standards, using LNG herself as propulsion fuel and integrating a complete re-liquefaction of the boil-off gas.
By 2022, Total will operate two 18,600-m³ LNG bunkering vessels in Rotterdam and Marseille and share the use of a third bunker vessel in Singapore.
In February 2021, the company also received a licence from the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to supply LNG in the Port of Singapore from 2022.