MSC Marine Ops Goes Carbon Neutral in Industry First

MSC Armonia

MSC Cruises today announced its commitment to become the world’s first fully carbon neutral major global cruise line, according to a press release.

MSC said it will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by MSC, the company said, in a prepared statement. 

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman said: “Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003, ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29 per cent reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, on our way to meet the 40 per cent reduction target set for 2030.

“Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted onboard MSC Europa – the first of five LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet. This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”

“As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting January 1, 2020.”

Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon credits able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

In particular, MSC said it aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. 

Vago concluded: “Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect. We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”

Passenger Ship Safety Miami: Key Industry Topics In Focus

Passenger Ship Safety Miami

Passenger Ship Safety Miami 2018 kicked off this week with cruise line executives, major suppliers, class societies, public agencies and regulatory bodies coming together for a two-day conference event.

With an expanding global cruise fleet, the human factor and crew training were key topics when it comes to all aspects of cruise ship safety. Technology is racing ahead onboard, from video detection to passenger tracking. There are also new LNG-powered cruise ships coming, which bring with them their own set of new challenges.


Carnival Cruise Line has recently launched a new firefighting training program in partnership with Marioff, the provider of the HI-FOG firefighting system that deploys a water mist.

“We felt the need to have specific, detailed training on the full functionality of the systems,” said Martina Gallus, director deck and safety assets, Carnival Cruise Line.

A training team is going ship by ship, with training taking anywhere from five to seven days. The crew then take an exam and are awarded a certificate if they pass.

The training is scheduled twice annually per ship and a crew member’s certificate must be renewed every three years, said Gallus.

“Our focus is to develop strong, robust and reliable training firefighting,” she added.

Joska Taipale, manager, training and technical support for Marioff, said the program consists of both classroom and hands-on training.

Carnival Vista

“The fire protection system is not a system the crew normally uses,” Taipale said.

With an installation base counting thousands of ships, Taipale said the training is specific to each ship’s HI-FOG system and each crew member’s role in the firefighting operation.

Up to 200 crew have been trained per ship, according to Taipale.

Big R&D

Gerry Ellis, director of safety and OHS policy at Carnival Corporation, said the company not only shares safety information and data between its own brands but with other cruise companies.

With a fleet of 104 ships, Carnival has ample opportunity to test new technology, which is backed up by a strong corporate safety culture.

“Within the last five years we have spent the price of a new ship on systems being installed on our fleet that go well above compliance,” Ellis said. “It’s about being open and honest, and also being fortunate enough to test these systems. We have leadership that’s willing to spend the money on research and development.”


With equipment on some 400 commercial LNG ships, GTT is involved in every aspect of LNG in the maritime world, including design, construction, operations, maintenance and upgrades, said Aziz Bamik, general manager, GTT North America.

Among the challenges, he pointed to tank space requirements, which can take up around two more times the space than traditional fuel tanks to store the same volume.

The AIDAnova will be the first cruise ship to sail on LNG.

“You have to balance the fact you need more volume and will lose cabins,” said Bamik. “(Cruise lines) will need to come up with the right solution to minimize the loss of cabins while having the best, most efficient fuel system. Space is really the main challenge.”

The company is involved in a number of self-propelled LNG bunkering barge projects, in addition to cruise ship newbuilds that will run on LNG.

Crew training is another key area for GTT.

“We purpose-built a training simulator for a specific LNG barge,” noted Bamik. The company can also offer a 24/7 hotline for emergencies

Human Factor

Captain John W. Mauger, the commanding officer of the United States Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Center, said the agency visits each cruise ship newbuild two times.

The first visit is between six and 12 months before delivery, while a second visit is more comprehensive and scheduled around final certifications.

Mauger noted newbuild cruise ships were increasing in complexity. Regulations like a safe return to port have made the ship its own lifeboat, but have also introduced new technologies.

“We know that complex systems fail in complex ways,” Mauger said. “It’s not sufficient for us to put the technology aboard and then not drive those lessons and understandings into the crew members.”


Joep Bollerman, operations manager, passenger ship support centre, Lloyd’s Register, said that almost all engine room fires could be traced back to oil or fuel spray on hot surfaces.

Among the factors to mitigate that, beyond crew training and detection, he said many companies were putting in additional fuel cut-off valves to give crew more options to isolate the fuel supply.

Firefighting Training

“Training and drills need to be more than a check in a box,” he added. “There needs to be a more formal evaluation. The drill needs to be as realistic as possible.”

Michael O’Donnell, executive director, FAA, office of accident investigation and prevention, pointed to the agency’s partnership with airlines and suppliers, working together to solve operational and safety issues. With many parallels to the maritime world, O’Donnell presented Aviation Safety Infoshare, which aims to improve aviation safety.

Attendance at Passenger Ship Safety Miami was up year-over-year, with the second annual Passenger Ship Safety Miami conference seeing a notable increased in attendees.

The next Passenger Ship Safety Miami event is scheduled for January 29-31, 2019.

MSC Cruises to develop LNG bunkering system with ARTA

Image result for msc LNG ships

MSC Seaside

MSC Cruises is to develop an LNG bunkering system for its cruise ships after striking a partnership with ARTA.

The two companies revealed their new partnership at the 2017 LNG Bunkering Summit in Amsterdam, where they said they would create a tailor-made LNG bunkering system that takes full account of the cruise industry’s specific needs.

MSC Cruises LNG project director Yves Bui said: “With up to four LNG-powered cruise ships scheduled to join our fleet, we are highly committed to developing the best possible technologies and systems to support the introduction of LNG to cruising. In ARTA, we have found a partner that matches our focus on innovation and the best maritime technology at sea and that understands our industry’s specific needs.”

The result is a system that features a newly developed coupling and decoupling mechanism and a double-walled hose that will allow MSC Cruises to conduct bunkering operations without disrupting the activities taking place on board the ship.

Andreas von Keitz, managing director of manufacturer of gas and liquid transfer solutions ARTA added: “We are exceptionally pleased with the new system we have developed to suit the cruise industry’s specific bunkering needs. Thanks to our partnership with MSC Cruises we have been able to fully understand these needs and have put over 40 years of our bunkering engineering experience to good use. The result is a technologically advanced solution that will help ensure that the double-wall principle is maintained across the entire LNG bunkering supply chain.”

MSC Cruises and STX France signed a letter of intent last June to build  up to four LNG-fuelled cruise ships – part of the company’s plan for 11 new next-generation cruise ships over the next 10 years.

The first LNG-powered vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2022.