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Hurtigruten announces major green upgrades: Up to 9 ships to be retrofitted with LNG and battery power

Press release   •   Apr 20, 2018 10:39 UTC

LNG MEETS BATTERIES: MS Polarlys is one of the Hurtigruten ships that will be upgraded to secure even more sustainable operations. Photo: CARSTEN PEDERSEN/Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten has announced the biggest green upgrade in the company’s 125 year history. Up to nine of its custom built expedition ships are to rebuilt to hybrid propulsion – featuring LNG engines and battery packs.

Hurtigruten has signed a LOI with Rolls-Royce Marine for the delivery of the engines and technology to the green upgrade. The deal comprises the supply of equipment to six existing Hurtigruten ships, with an option for a further three.

The planning and installation of the hybrid power and propulsion system upgrade starts immediately, and will be finalized by 2021. It enables Hurtigruten to operate on the legendary Norwegian coastal route – dubbed The most beautiful voyage in the world - with environmentally-friendly ships featuring the latest technology and reducing the emissions to the lowest level.

- This is an investment for the future, and a historic day for us, for the environment and for 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, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

The ships will completely change their power system from diesel to LNG with the installation of new Rolls-Royce LNG-engines. The Hurtigruten – Rolls-Royce deal also includes installation of a hybrid battery system to support the engines, change of propellers and other green upgrades. The upgrade will enable the former diesel-powered ships to reduce CO2-emissions by at least 25 per cent.

- Hurtigruten is planning an upgrade with 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 ten 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, Rolls-Royce, Vice President Product Sales & Advanced Offerings, says.

As with the two groundbreaking hybrid expedition ships currently under construction at Kleven Yards – MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen – Hurtigruten has worked closely with NGO Bellona in choosing technology and solutions for the major green upgrade.

- Hurtigruten’s investments shows the new roadmap for better environmental friendly shipping. By choosing best technology and fuel, the environmental results are real improvements, Sigurd Enge of Bellona says.

Over the past years, Hurtigruten has stood out as one of the world’s most sustainable and environmentally friendly shipping companies. Hundreds of millions of NOK has been spent on green upgrades of the existing fleet, Hurtigruten’s ships are getting shore power connections, none of the company’s 14 ships is using heavy fuel oil – and Hurtigruten is campaigning for a full out international ban of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters.

- Development of new technology and sustainable solutions is really important to us – and the environment. We have been operating along in the Arctic and along the Norwegian coast for 125 years, and are conscious about conserving these amazing areas for generations of explorers and travelers to come. We are really looking forward to switching to gas and battery power along the Norwegian coast, Skjeldam says.

The Rolls-Royce delivery will consist of their newly developed B36:45 lean burning LNG engine, which according to Rolls-Royce is “setting a new standard in power and efficiency with exceptionally low emissions of NOx, CO2, SOx and particulates”.

Rolls-Royce will also supply the electrical power SAVe Cube system with the latest generation system designed with a single integrated drive switchboard for the whole vessel. Additional battery power will be installed with the latest Rolls-Royce battery technology contributing to lower the emissions to the lowest level and making the ships even more environmentally-friendly. The propulsion system will be designed to meet the new operation profile equipped with Rolls-Royce’s latest Promas fuel efficient propeller design.

Hurtigruten - World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen and the MS Fridtjof Nansen. A third hybrid powered expedition vessel will be added to the fleet in 2021. 

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