(9:25 a.m. EST) -- MSC Cruises has signed three deals worth €6.5 billion to build two more LNG-powered MSC World Class ships plus the development of two new prototype classes.
The line confirmed French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique will build an additional two World Class ships -- to be delivered in 2025 and 2027 – to join the two already on order, the first of which joins the fleet in 2022.
MSC also signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for another new prototype class of liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship that will be powered by “emerging environmental technologies”.
The four vessels in this new class would represent a capital investment exceeding EUR 4 billion and an extra 30 million working hours for the yard, the suppliers and subcontractors involved in the project.
And a third MoU sees MSC Cruises partnering with Chantiers de l’Atlantique in the development of yet another innovative prototype ship class concept which will explore using wind technologies as a form of power.
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Speaking at a ceremony held at the French Prime Minister’s official residence, Matignon Palace, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, said: “The three agreements signed today extend our investment plan up to 2030.
“The agreements signed also confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, in this case helping the French national industry further position itself as a world leader in the development of next-generation technologies and other solutions.”
Measuring 205,000 gross tonnes, the line’s first two yet-to-be-named LNG-powered MSC World Class ships are currently under construction and will enter service in 2022 and 2023.
Today’s announcement follows the line’s November 2019 pledge to become the first carbon-neutral cruise line by January 1, 2020.
MSC Cruises claims to have met its target -- offsetting all carbon dioxide emissions via multiple projects, including planting trees, contributing to and creating marine projects and supporting communities that rely on the sea.
The line also revealed earlier this month that, together with the MSC Foundation, the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and 54 NFL players and influencers, it has launched an initiative to raise awareness about the need to preserve and protect coral reefs. In addition, the line has completely restored its private island, Ocean Cay from a disused sand mining site to a marine reserve.