This summer, MSC Cruises was one of the first major cruise line in the world to restart cruising with new health and safety protocols specifically designed for COVID-19 prevention. The world kept its breath after the first sail-away and we all wondered “will this actually work or it will turn out to be a disaster”. As it turned out, the protocols worked and now, MSC are integrating new technology to their new-builds.
The new MSC Seashore, which is currently under construction at shipbuilder Fincantieri yard and is set to be delivered in July 2021, will be fitted with a so called “Safe Air” technology.
How does Safe Air work?
The new “Safe Air” sanitation system is based on the technology of UV lamps, specifically type C ultraviolet rays. The UV-C rays applied in combination with the ship’s air conditioning system will radiate the airflow at source with a short wavelength lights that hit organic particles and prevent the circulation of air pollutants such as viruses, bacteria and mold.
The UV technology is not something new to the cruise industry. In recent years, UV disinfection has become a popular method for waste water treatment plants or ballast treatment plants. It requires minimum maintenance mostly consisting in periodic cleaning of the UV lamps and replacement after a certain number of operating hours.
Safe Air was developed by Fincantieri designers and technicians and the virology laboratory of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a leading global research institute with the headquarters in Trieste Italy. The Institute provides businesses with scientific support to develop technological solutions for the control of viral infections which is particularly relevant today given the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The UV-C method of disinfection of air or surfaces, is also not something new on land and almost everyone can purchase their own UV-C lamps for home disinfection or for industrial HVAC systems. The FDA has even issued a Q&A article on the subject.
What about environmental technology?
Like all other MSC new vessels, the MSC Seashore will also feature some of the latest technologies and solutions available to reduce her environmental footprint.
MSC Seashore will be fitted with:
- a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to reduce nitrogen oxide (by 90 percent);
- an advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS) to treat wastewater to a very high quality;
- a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) that removes 98 percent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions;
- a shore-to-ship power which connects a docked cruise ship to a port’s local power grid to further reduce air emissions;
- a ballast water treatment systems USCG approved;
- oil discharge from machinery spaces prevention systems;
- various effective energy-efficiency improvements (heat recovery systems, LED lighting).