Greener operations through shore power
Having made the pledge in 2021 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, MSC Cruises is continuously exploring and investing in new technologies that are helping to decarbonize, some with very promising results. On this journey, minimising the impact of cruises ships on port communities and their environment while berthed is key.
Whilst there is no propulsion required whilst in port, there is still a heavy demand from the hotel operations during a port stay, which is why ordinarily we need to keep one engine running at all times. Plugging in our ships will ensure we can switch off this one remaining engine, eliminating local emissions associated with burning marine fuel. With the increasing pressure from local communities and proposed regulations, many ports around the world are developing the shore based infrastructure needed to be able to provide the energy needed for cruise ships.
Seven of our ships already have shore-power capability and other two are undertaking retrofit – enabling us to connect to local power and switch off the engines of our ships whilst in port. In the 2022 summer season, two ships will be consistently using shore power for the first time: MSC Virtuosa in the United Kingdom at the Port of Southampton’s new Horizon Cruise Terminal, and MSC Poesia in Rostock-Warnemünde, Germany. We are committed to retrofit other ships that will visit ports where shore power will be available and by the end of 2022, 11 of our 21 ships will be fitted with shore power capable systems.
We are working closely with many other ports to support the development of the port shore power infrastructure. In April 2022 MSC Cruises signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cruise Baltic to confirm the joint efforts of both parties to the supply and use of shore power throughout the Baltic Sea region, which is potentially about 24 cruise ports. We have signed agreements with other individual port authorities in the Mediterranean Sea and worldwide to support shore side power by committing to make use of this when it becomes available.
Additionally, we are supporting the incorporation of shore power systems in terminals that we are involved in designing and building. In both Miami and Barcelona, where MSC Cruises’ terminals are being built, we are ensuring the designs take account of shore power requirements, including providing
the infrastructure, such as trenches, for the power cables.
We have a commitment to net zero emissions and a responsibility towards local communities. Having shore power capability at the places we operate into helps us meet this obligation.