Hurtigruten Launching Green Upgrades for Coastal Fleet with Kongsberg

battery power upgrades and biofuel for Hurtigruten fleet
Hurtigruten's Richard With will be the first converted to hybrid battery-power (Hurtigruten)

Published May 11, 2021 5:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

In what is described as one of the largest environmental upgrades in the history of European shipping, Hurtigruten announced plans for a fleet-wide upgrade to its Norwegian Coastal Express ships. Designed to advance the line’s environmental goals and meet pending environmental regulations, all seven of the ships operating the Norwegian coastal route will undergo upgrades. When completed in 2023, Hurtigruten predicts that it will reduce CO2 emissions by at least a quarter and NOx emissions by 80 percent.

Three of the vessels operating on the coastal route, the Richard With, Nordlys, and Kong Harald, will undergo a full transformation to battery-hybrid power. Kongsberg Maritime will be conducting the upgrades with the installation and overhauls being carried out at Norway’s Myklebust Verft shipyard. The first vessel to undergo an upgrade will be the Richard With.

“This is one of the largest environmental vessel upgrade projects to be undertaken in Europe,” says President Egil Haugsdal of Kongsberg Maritime. “These green upgrades of Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships represent a forward-looking, sustainable choice for their existing fleet.”

Two new, energy-efficient Bergen B33:45V diesel engines will propel each vessel, equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to ensure optimal emissions control and compliance with IMO Tier III regulations. Each vessel will also be fitted with two SAVe Energy 1,120kWh lithium-ion Energy Storage systems, controlled by Kongsberg Maritime’s integrated drive switchboard. Shaft generators on the engines will supply electrical power, coordinated with frequency converters, drives, and DC switching equipment necessary for the hybrid system. The scope of work also encompasses reblading of the main propellers, new thruster motors, AC switching, safety, and telegraph systems, in addition to full system integration and commissioning.

“We are combining the best available technical solutions and cutting CO2 emissions along the Norwegian coast with at least a quarter,” said Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express. “Most importantly, we are laying the foundation for introducing new and even more efficient environmental solutions as they are developed.”

In addition to the installation of the battery hybrid-power system on the three vessels, Hurtigruten said that all the ships have already been fitted with shore-power connectivity to eliminate emissions when connected in port. This summer, as each of the seven ships returns to service on the Norwegian coast, they will also be operating on certified biofuel.

Hurtigruten recently split its operations into two companies, one for the coastal voyages and the other offering worldwide expedition cruising. Trials will also begin with biofuels on selected expedition ships and itineraries in 2021.

The green upgrades of the Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships are the latest in a series of large-scale investments in sustainability and green technology by the Hurtigruten Group. Hurtigruten Expeditions launched the world’s first battery-hybrid-powered cruise ships, Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen in 2019 and 2020, and is currently transforming the Finnmarken to become a battery-hybrid powered expedition cruise ship, Otto Sverdrup, with large battery packs and advanced green technology.