hurtigruten at port in kirkenes

Norwegian cruise ferry operator Hurtigruten has signed a letter of intent with Rolls-Royce for a major environmental upgrade programme to LNG and battery hybrid power.

The main engines on up to nine cruise ships will switch from diesel to gas power and the upgrade will also include installation of a hybrid battery system.

The deal comprises the supply of equipment to six existing passenger cruise vessels, with an option for a further three. The ships will completely change their power system with the installation of new Rolls-Royce LNG engines as part of a new hybrid system. The upgrade will enable the former diesel-powered ships to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 25 per cent.  

Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said “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 was recently awarded licenses by the Norwegian Government for seven out of 11 coastal ferry routes. The year-round service, on the passenger and cargo route from Bergen in the southwest to Kirkenes in the north, has 34 stops. One of the key requirements from the Government of the route’s operator was a reduction in CO2 emissions. With its plans for a major upgrade, Hurtigruten will be able to continue operating its existing fleet on the route and at the same time meet these new stricter environmental demands.

The intentional agreement specifies that Rolls-Royce is to deliver two of its Bergen B36:45L&PG gas engines as the main engines to each ship. Rolls-Royce 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 and contributing to making them even more environmentally-friendly. The propulsion system is planned to also include the Promas system, which combines rudder and propeller into one fuel efficient unit.

The new tender period for the coastal route starts on 1 January 2021.