Green Yard Kleven to Convert Hurtigruten Cruise Ship as Work Expands

Kleven shipyard to rebuild Huritgruten cruise ship Finnmarket
Finnmarken will be refitted to become a hybrid powered expeditino cruise ship

Published Feb 15, 2021 3:46 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Kleven shipyard in Norway has received its second significant contract since emerging out of bankruptcy in 2020. Acquired by Green Yard, the goal was to relaunch the shipyard focusing on the growth sectors as well as expanding its business.

Green Yard Kleven was awarded the contract to convert Hurtigruten’s vessel the Finnmarken, which had been operating the traditional Norwegian coastal service, into a hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship. Built at the Kleven shipyard in 2002, the vessel recently returned to the yard to begin the reconstruction.

“This is an exciting assignment for us and good news to be able to give to our employees,” says Kjetil Bollestad, CEO of Green Yard Kleven.” It is also extra nice that there are local suppliers who will be involved and perform much of the work.” In December 2020, the yard announced its first major contract, which is to build an advanced construction service vessel (CSV) for REM Offshore as REM's first vessel to service offshore wind fields.

As part of the conversion of the ship into a full-time expedition cruise ship, the yard will be undertaking an extensive technical upgrade, including installing a hybrid package developed for the ship by Siemens. The hybrid system consists of a battery pack to run in conjunction with the diesel engines. In addition, the yard will also be installing new combined shaft generators and drive motors together with new frequency converters. Hurtigruten previously announced it would also be converting its fleet to run entirely on biofuel and fitted the ship with shore power capabilities to reduce its environmental impact.

“It is a great advantage for us that both we and our partners know the ship from the time of construction,” says Bollestad. “We have many employees who helped build the ship, and it is the same employees who have recently built the two newest hybrid-powered expedition ships for Hurtigruten, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen. This provides a unique competence that will be of great help in the extensive rebuilding of the ship.”

As part of the overhaul, the Finnmarken is also being renamed the Otto Sverdrup, in honor of the explorer who participated in several polar expeditions. Sverdrup, who served as a captain of the exploration ship Fram and as a captain for Hurtigruten also was the first explorer to ski across Greenland. The ship is being reassigned to Hurtigruten Exploration as the company proceeds with its previously announced plans to separate the cruise business from its traditional Norwegian coastal voyages.

Kleven expects to complete the conversion project in the spring of 2021. The yard also recently announced that it had received approval from the state administrator to begin recycling operations at the facility in Ulsteinvik, Norway. Green Yard, which acquired the shipyard out of bankruptcy already was providing recycling services and by adding them to the shipyard’s capabilities expects to provide a great range of services to customers either to complete the lifecycle of a vessel or to be able to recycle material during a reconstruction such as the new assignment from Hurtigruten.