MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, and Yara Marine Technologies, a leading manufacturer of innovative exhaust abatement solutions, announced today that MSC Fantasia, the first MSC Cruises ship to be retrofitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems, has received her MED Certificate from Bureau Veritas after passing the MARPOL test. This certifies that the new equipment is fully in line with the EU Marine Equipment Directive requirements.

As part of MSC Cruises’ continuous drive to improve environmental performance, MSC Fantasia and MSC Preziosa are the fleet’s first ships to be retrofitted with hybrid Yara Marine Technologies’ SOx exhaust gas cleaning systems. This cutting-edge equipment cleans the ship’s exhaust gases in accordance with the strictest International Maritime Organization’s 0.1% Emission Control Area requirements. It also guarantees compliance with the upcoming 0.5% global sulphur cap requirement that will come into force in 2020.

The project was led by a team from STX France, the yard that originally built the two vessels. The installation of the process equipment was completed with the ship in full operation, while the dry dock operations, namely the exhaust gas cleaning system installation, were carried out at FINCANTIERI’s shipyard in Palermo.

"Innovation and respect for the environment are core values for our company and absolutely central to how we design, build and develop our ships," said Emilio La Scala, president & managing director of MSC Cruises’ Technical Department. "For this reason, we are pleased to have received Bureau Veritas’ MED Certificate for our first vessel as we continue to work to meet existing as well as upcoming international sulphur emissions requirements."

"We are very happy that MSC Cruises has received the MED Certificate from Bureau Veritas for the first cruise ship that has been retrofitted with our exhaust gas cleaning systems," said Kai Latun, Yara Marine’s VP Sales and Marketing. "This certifies that MSC Fantasia’s systems run according to design and is ready to comply with the upcoming global sulphur regulations from 2020," Mr Latun concluded.

MSC Preziosa, the second MSC Cruises ship to have undergone this programme, is scheduled for sea trials during the first week of May, aiming to receive her MED certificate by mid-June. Other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet are set to be retrofitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems in coming years, ahead of the entry into force of the new international sulphur emissions requirements in January 2020.