The Cruise Division of Swiss shipping major MSC Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Italian shipbuilding major Fincantieri and energy infrastructure operator Snam to examine requirements for “the first hydrogen-powered cruise ship.”

The partners have joined forces to carry out a study that will assess the feasibility of designing and building the world’s first ocean-going cruise ship powered by hydrogen.

The aim is to provide further details on how to achieve zero-emission operations in certain areas and consider the development of the related hydrogen bunkering infrastructure.

 “As we advance with the development of the maritime technology required, we will also see that energy providers take note and ramp up production to unlock this, and that governments and the public sector step in to provide the necessary support for a project that is critical to the decarbonisation of cruising and shipping,” Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group said.

“Hydrogen could be a key enabler in achieving the target of net zero emissions in shipping, accounting for approximately 3 percent of global CO2 emissions, as well as in all the hard to abate sectors,” Marco Alverà, Snam’s CEO commented.

“Snam is strongly committed to concrete initiatives for sustainable heavy transport – on road, rail and by sea – promoting the use of renewable gases such hydrogen and bioLNG.”

During the next 12 months, the three companies will study factors that include arranging ship spaces to accommodate H2 technologies and fuel cells, technical parameters of onboard systems, calculating the potential greenhouse gas emissions savings and a technical and economic analysis of hydrogen supply and infrastructure.

The Cruise Division of MSC Group is committed to achieving net carbon neutral operations by 2050.

To accomplish this objective, the company is working in partnership with a wide range of shipyards, suppliers, manufacturers and other organisations as well as investing in different upcoming technologies and solutions for its fleet.

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