Rolls-Royce (RR) is to upgrade the propulsions systems on up to nine Hurtigruten cruise ferries.
The vessels will be fitted with a new hybrid power plant that will reduce CO2 emissions by at least a quarter.
They will be switched from diesel to gas power. This major upgrade will also see the vessels fitted with a hybrid battery system.
The vessels will be fitted with new RR LNG-powered engines, enabling them to cut CO2 emissions by at least 25%. Under the terms of the contract, six existing diesel-powered passenger cruise vessels will be converted with an option for a further three.
Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten CEO, said: “This is an investment for the future, and a historic day for us, the environment and the whole, long Norwegian coastline. The combination of battery packs with the most environmentally friendly and effective gas engines in the market will provide a huge gain for the environment.”
The six vessels will each be retrofitted with two Bergen B36:45L&PG gas engines.
RR will also supply the latest electrical power SAVe Cube system, designed with a single integrated drive switchboard for the whole vessel. Additional battery power will also be installed, making the ships hybrid powered.
In addition, the propulsion units will include the Promas system, which combines rudder and propeller into one fuel-efficient unit.
This new project comes after the Norwegian Government recently awarded Hurtigruten licences for seven out of 11 coastal ferry routes.
The year-round passenger and cargo service from Bergen to Kirkenes has 34 stops and one of the government’s key requirements was a reduction in CO2 emissions. The partnership with Rolls-Royce means Hurtigruten will now be able to meet these stricter environmental demands and continue operating its fleet on the route, the company claimed.
“The planned upgrade will use our newest and most environmentally efficient engine, powered by natural gas. This is another great innovation from our engine factory in Bergen, where we have more than 10 years of experience of powering ships purely by gas. Together with other new energy system installations, Hurtigruten will make its older ships work as efficiently and environmentally as if they were new.” Astrid Opsjøen RR’s vice president product sales & advanced offerings, said.