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WFW advises MSC on financing for two new LNG-powered cruise ships18 April 2024

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised MSC Cruises (“MSC”) on the financing for two new LNG-powered cruise ships from French ship builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The vessels, World Class 3 and World Class 4, are expected to be delivered in 2026 and 2027 respectively. The financing was provided by a syndicate of lenders led by Banco Santander with ECA support from Bpifrance Export Assurance.

In line with MSC’s commitment to investing in future environmental technology and its aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the vessels will be fitted with some of the latest innovative and technological solutions to maximise energy efficiency and lower their carbon footprints. This includes extensive use of heat recovery, shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, the most advanced wastewater treatment systems, new advances in waste management and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use.

Additionally, the ships will be prepared for a variety of alternative fuels including bio and synthetic methane and green methanol. They will also be fitted with next generation dual fuel internal combustion engines with reduced methane slip.

The WFW London Assets and Structured Finance team that advised MSC was led by Partner Emily Widdrington, supported by Senior Associate John Man and Associate Lottie Lymer.

Emily commented: “We are delighted to have been able to advise long-standing client MSC on successfully financing these new additions to their fleet which will play a key role in their decarbonisation plans to achieve net-zero by 2050. Being instructed on this deal also highlights WFW’s expertise in advising on big-ticket financings in the cruise sector”.

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