Research is ongoing
“We are in progress – said Vago – a discussion with Fincantieri to find technical solutions in the field of sustainability that, in a short time, can lead us to further technical solutions, even more definitive, on which our investments could reach two billions before 2030 “.
A sum that will be directed, said Vago, “on multiple ships, because it is difficult to find systems for 20 megawatts (the power needed to move a large cruise unit, to build which requires an investment of about a billion , ed), and then we are leaving with luxury ships (of smaller tonnage, ed): we start with the smallest sizes to get to the largest ones “.
Investments and technologies
Msc’s investments are therefore closely linked to the technology available in terms of sustainability. However, the development of which also depends on political choices. «There is a huge discussion – continued Vago – on fit for 55 of the EU, into which the taxonomy enters, which intends to define which sectors will be green on which the Community will concentrate financing in the future, and within which Sace also operates (essential for the credit to finance shipbuilding orders, ed). As a cruise industry we do a lot of research: on hydrogen, in which the agreement signed in July with Fincantieri and Snam enters, on batteries, on fuel cell, on methanol, on alternative fuels. Because if we want to reach zero emissions in 2050, given that the costs of ships are amortized over 30 years, we must already understand today what CO2-free propulsion can be. The risk that we do not want to run, with respect to taxonomy, therefore, is that the EU will come to say that cruise ships are no longer financed because everything that emits CO2 must not be financed “.
The role of politics
And here comes the need for a strong role of politics. «For Governments – said Vago – it is easy to make political statements and then leave it to the entrepreneur to find solutions. But in this case the challenge is so great that if we do not work in harmony with the governments, and with all the European industrial capacity, we will have problems. We are ready to put two billion on the table which, with the shipbuilding industry multiplier on the related industries, which is 4.5, becomes nine billion. But I often wonder if in Rome they understand what is happening in Brussels. We must be careful, because Fincantieri, and everything it produces, extended to the Italian industry, we are exporting. And there must be support for the cruise industry, so that it can continue, with the guarantee of the Italian government, to make investments in technologies that will guarantee its future ».
The United States leads the research
Today, Vago continued, “for example, apart from Fincantieri and the university that is doing research, there is no company in Europe that has the ability to have the know-how of fuel cell. We had to go to America to find concrete solutions in this area. The cruise industry employs a huge amount of work to Europe. We are careful not to lose it as we have already lost that of ferries and cargo (now built in Asia, ed). And then the development of this industry has led the Italians to be better and better, also with regard to infrastructures. This is demonstrated by the contract signed between MSC and Fincantieri to build the new cruise terminal in Miami ».