MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have further extended their long-term partnership by making a number of strategic announcements at a ceremony held at the Matignon Palace, the French Prime Minister’s the official residence.
The ceremony was attended by Édouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France; Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman; Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman; and, Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s General Manager.
First, the two companies announced the signing of firm contracts for the construction of MSC Cruises’ third and fourth LNG-powered MSC World Class ships, to be delivered in 2025 and 2027. The first of the initial two ships in the class is currently under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and is due to enter service in 2022. With 205,000 GT, she will become the biggest vessel operated by a European cruise line as well as the first LNG-powered cruise ship built in France. Compared to standard marine fuel, LNG decreases sulphur emissions and particulate matter by 99%, NOx emissions by 85%, and CO2 emissions by 20%.
These contracts represent a capital investment by MSC Cruises exceeding EUR 2 billion (?$2.2 billion USD) and are expected to generate 14 million additional working hours, amounting to over 2,400 full-time equivalent jobs for the next three and a half years directly supported by those orders. Today’s signature also allows the shipyard to start working with the hundreds of suppliers and subcontractors involved in the projects, setting in motion a new cycle that will greatly benefit the French economy.
Yesterday, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique also extended their partnership over the next decade with two additional projects. First, the companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of yet a new prototype class of LNG-powered cruise ships to operate under the MSC Cruises brand.
For this project, MSC Cruises, the shipyard and other partners will focus on developing emerging environmental technologies in line with IMO’s vision for 2030 and 2050. The four vessels in this new class would represent a capital investment exceeding EUR 4 billion (?$4.4 billion USD) and an extra 30 million working hours for the yard, the suppliers and subcontractors involved in the project.
A second MoU sees MSC Cruises partnering with Chantiers de l’Atlantique in the development of yet another innovative prototype ship class concept with which they will explore opportunities that wind power and other advanced technologies could bring.
The three agreements signed yesteray represent an investment in excess of EUR 6.5 billion (?$7.2 billion USD) in the French economy.