Norway Launches Green Shipping Project

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Published Oct 20, 2015 7:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

The shipping industry is in a state of transition as it adjusts to increasingly strict emissions standards set forth by regulators. The European Parliament recently stated its aim to reduce emissions by more than 40 percent by 2030. The International Transportation Forum has also proposed reducing emissions by more than 50 percent by 2080, as well as taxes on those who exceed regulations.

And with the U.N. Climate Change Conference on the horizon, it is possible that emissions regulations will only get more stringent. Government officials and industry leaders are scrambling to innovate to stay ahead of new rules.  

In a joint program with the Norwegian government, Oslo-based DNV GL recently launched the Green Coastal Shipping Programme which aims to create the most environmentally-friendly vessels in the world. 

The program is comprised of five pilot projects which chiefly use LNG and batteries as energy sources.

"We envision a fleet of offshore vessels, tankers, cargo, container, bulk and passenger ships, ferries, fishing and aquaculture vessels, tugs and other coastal vessels, run entirely or partly using batteries, LNG or other green fuels," said DNV GL's Narve Mjøs, who is the program director for the Green Coastal Shipping Programme.

The first project is a cargoferry plug-in hybrid which targets the development of cost-effective and profitable short-sea box ships that are powered by a hybrid LNG and battery propulsion system.

The second project is a green shuttle tanker project which utilizes batteries. The third project is a hybrid farming vessel project aimed at optimizing a hybrid propulsion system for more efficient energy operations.

The fourth project converts a cargo ship into a hybrid battery and LNG carrier. Converting existing vessels into LNG carriers has been seen as cost-effective to many small operators. The final project involves developing a low-energy consumption green port with a minimal carbon footprint.

Some of the technologies being employed to achieve this include electric heavy-duty vehicles and cranes. The green port will also be equipped with smart gates, offer cold ironing services and charging stations for plug-in hybrid ships.

While the project appears promising, it is unclear if and when such infrastructure will be commonplace worldwide. However, Norway’s leaders appear to believe that the shipping industry is in position to blaze the trail towards an environmentally-friendly future.

"The shipping industry is very well equipped to lead the way in the green shift. This can contribute to exports of good, future-oriented and environmentally friendly solutions,” said Monica Mæland, the Minister of Trade and Industry.