Hurtigruten Buys Fish-Based Fuel for its Future Fleet

MS Nordnorge, one of at least six ships to be converted to run on battery/LNG/biogas (Hurtigruten)hybrid propulsion

By The Maritime Executive 05-24-2019 09:33:53

Expedition cruise line Hurtigruten has signed a supply agreement with Norway-based Biokraft to purchase climate-friendly liquified biogas (LBG) made from dead fish and other organic waste. The multiyear deal will make Hurtigruten's vessels the first cruise ships in the world to be powered (in part) by fossil-free LBG.

This specialty fuel is better than neutral: since it is produced by collecting methane which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, LBG creates a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when it is burned. To use LBG on board, Hurtigruten is going to repower at least six vessels with gas-powered diesel engines and battery hybrid systems. Liquified biogas can be mixed with and used in the same tanks and engines as liquefied natural gas, so the vessels will be able to run on a combination of LNG and LBG (plus electric power). 

Renewable biogas may well be the most eco-friendly liquid fuel currently available, and it is already used as a niche solution in over-the-road transportation. According to Biokraft, Northern Europe and Norway are well-placed to lead the world in biogas production because of their large fishery and forestry sectors, which produce a steady stream of organic waste.

"What other see as a problem, we see as a resource and a solution. While other operators are running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature. Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping, a no-brainer for us, and a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam in a statement.