Polarys will be one of the ferries that will be upgraded with new Rolls-Royce engines and propulsion systems (Image: Carsten Pedersen/Hurtigruten)
Rolls-Royce has signed a letter of intent to upgrade the diesel engines on at least six of Norwegian operator Hurtigruten’s cruise ferries so they can operate on LNG fuel and a hybrid battery system.
Each of the six vessels will be equipped with two of Rolls-Royce’s Bergen B36:45L&PG gas engines, which will produce 25% less carbon dioxide and significantly lower levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and diesel particulates, compared to the current engines. Rolls-Royce will also provide each ferry with an electrical power SAVe Cube system, electric batteries and a Promas propulsion system, which combines rudder and propeller into one fuel-efficient unit. The contract could also be extended to cover three further ferries.
“Hurtigruten is planning an upgrade with our newest and most environmentally efficient engine, powered by natural gas,” said Astrid Opsjøen, vice president of Product Sales and Advanced Offerings at Rolls-Royce. “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.”
Hurtigruten is upgrading the vessels’ engines as part of an operating agreement it has recently formed with the Norwegian government. The agreement, which will see Hurtigruten providing year-round passenger services on seven of Norway’s 11 coastal ferry routes between Bergen and Kirkenes (includes 34 ports of call) from 1 January 2021, also called for the ferry company to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.
“This is an investment for the future, and a historic day for us, for the environment and for the whole long Norwegian coastline,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten. “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.”
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