MSC Cruises has been granted final approval by the Port of Barcelona to build and exclusively operate a new cruise terminal in the city.
The €33 million facility will be operated and managed by MSC for a 31-year period and is expected to open in 2024, MSC said on Thursday (3 June).
It will allow MSC to "consolidate" its presence in Barcelona and the western Mediterranean, and also expand its homeporting operation there.
MSC said the new terminal would have shore power facilities and would be designed with LNG-powered ships in mind, such as as MSC World Europa, the line’s first LNG-powered ship, which is due to enter service next year.
Earlier this year, MSC struck a deal with Total to supply the line with 45,000 of LNG a year to power three new LNG-powered ships, with its main LNG facility set to be based in Marseille.
Catalan architect Ricard Bofill will design the terminal, which MSC said would become another city "landmark".
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC executive chair, said the new terminal bolstered MSC’s "longstanding commitment" to the city of Barcelona and and Catalonia.
"Perhaps most importantly, the new terminal will allow us to operate expanded homeport operations, resulting in added direct and indirect economic benefit for the city and the overall region," said Vago.
Vago added: "Homeport operations will also allow us to dedicate to Barcelona more of our new ships, including the LNG-powered MSC World Europa which is shaping up to become one of the most environmentally friendly ships at sea when she comes into service."
Vago added the provision of shore power and commitment to LNG bunkering operations underlined MSC’s commitment to sustainable cruise operations.