Hurtigruten has started a project in partnership with research institute SINTEF and 12 other maritime interests to develop zero-emission solutions for future passenger ships.
Based on research, the partners aim to create the most energy-efficient and sustainable cruise ship yet built by 2030.
The ‘Sea Zero’ project has been awarded €7 mill in public funding and has a total budget of €13 mill for the R&D phase, which is dedicated to developing solutions for energy efficiency, state-of-the-art battery solutions, propulsion technology, hull design, sustainable building practices, and on board hotel operations, to reduce energy use to a minimum.
The aim is to develop zero-emission ships specifically adapted for the Norwegian coast, with the first vessel expected to be delivered by 2030. With only 0.1% of all vessels worldwide currently using zero-emission technology, Hurtigruten Norway’s project aims to have a significant impact on the cruise industry’s sustainability and the future of travel, the company claimed.
Research will take place between 2023 and 2025, before going directly into a newbuilding project. The aim is to make the new ships emissions free to both sea and air, with one of the potential game-changers being a significant reduction in energy consumption.
“We aim to build the most energy-efficient passenger ship ever. We will turn every stone to cut both energy use, waste and emissions to a minimum,” said Gerry Larsson-Fedde, Hurtigruten Norway’s Senior Vice President for Marine Operations.
“Consumers will not continue to accept the use of heavy fuel oil or climate targets that are way behind the Paris Agreement. Zero emission ships will be the game-changer our industry needs,” he added.
One of the key focus areas of the project is in the on board hotel operations, which sometimes consume up to 50% of the ship’s total energy use. Developing new energy solutions for thehotel operations will be crucial to the project’s success, as waste heat from engines is not available as a heat source when batteries replace traditional engines.
‘Sea Zero’ has the potential to impact the cruise and passenger sector by developing and demonstrating zero-emission ships and introducing new green technologies and products available for a large and global market.
The project’s total value creation potential is several hundred million euros up to 2030, with a significant portion expected to be realised when Hurtigruten Norway signs a contract for the first zero-emission ship newbuilding.