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MSC Cruises will be cruising its first zero-emissions voyage. In fact, this will be the first-ever net zero greenhouse gas emissions sailing in the history of the industry. MSC Euribia will leave the shipyard in France on June 3, embarking on his historical voyage. I'm very excited to see the uproar in excitement over this major achievement. I think this is the beginning of a true industry shift. Do you agree?

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I am all for lowering / eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, across all industries.

There’s a lot of PR hype to this article. It is MSC first LNG ship, and that does produce lower greenhouse gas emissions that an oil-fired ship. Carnival is the current LNG ship leader, as the article rightly notes. So, not much new there.

So, what is new here to claim ‘net zero greenhouse emissions’ by using bio-LNG? (Recognize the bio-LNG is only used for the inaugural cruise.) Bio-LNG and LNG are virtually the same, containing over 95% methane each, the rest being impurities, mainly nitrogen (source: Gasum website, the bio-LNG fuel supplier to MSC). Physically, when the methane combusts, it produces carbon dioxide and water, both are going out the stack. So, not truly zero emissions.

Net zero is little more than a convention adapted by industry / government that any use of biomass is net zero because the biomass converted atmospheric carbon dioxide into more biomass. Thus the circle of carbon…

Why isn’t MSC using bio-LNG consistently? Availability and cost

Until we use fuels that are carbon free, there will always be carbon dioxide emissions produced. That’s high school chemistry.

WHEW, my brain hurts, I need a cruise.

Edited by kefthecruiser
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@kefthecruiser Wow, you really know your stuff! Reading through this article was educating me on several different aspects of the ship fueling components. Thanks for sharing that info here. I think that as MSC Crusies switches up its sustainability measures and fueling operations, it's paving the way for other cruise lines to do the same. The cruise line is diversifying and branching out to try other alternatives to the popular LNG-powered fuel trend. I appreciate the progressive approach MSC Cruises has to reduce emissions and create a more sustainable cruise line. Do you agree that MSC Cruises is moving in the right direction, or do you think the cruise line could be making other efforts to create a more sustainable fleet?

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As a retired power generation engineer, I was involved with development, engineering and construction of power plants using all types of fuels. This is not to brag, but to add credibility. Each cruise ship essentially has a power plant down in the ship’s bowels. As much as I would like to see it, the behind the scenes tour won’t go there (understandably) for safety reasons.

Yes, I agree that MSC is moving in the right direction; as are others as well. CCL was already mentioned, NCL plans on ‘green methanol’. The take-away I want to emphasize is simply:

Net Zero Emissions is not zero emissions.

All the ‘biofuels’ and ‘green fuels’ (except one) are all carbon based and emit carbon dioxide when combusted. See my prior post as why this is called net zero. Green hydrogen is the only fuel that has the potential of not containing carbon in its production cycle, though most hydrogen today is made from methane! When you think of hydrogen, remember the Hindenburg…

(Oh, and don't even think about nuclear.)

Can I go cruise now? (LOL)

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@kefthecruiser This is very valuable information! It's very misleading to think that Net Zero Emissions doesn't produce any emissions. I researched the definition of "Net Zero Emissions" to learn more about it. According to an online source, the process of achieving net zero is removing carbon dioxide from the environment, but it's reducing greenhouse emissions to be as close to zero as possible. As you mentioned, this process helps reduce emissions but it's not totally eliminating them. Although the process isn't perfect, I do think it's a big step in the right direction. I understand the hype, even though the phrase "Net Zero Emissions" could be misleading to some. 

You are very knowledgeable!

Costa Cruises is also seeking more sustainable measures as it has begun cutting emissions with green transport. 

Edited by Cruising Caribbean
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