Hurtigruten Norway ready for next stage in innovative zero-emission ship project
After announcing plans to build their first zero emission ship by 2030, Hurtigruten Norway has now secured leading tech partnerships and applied for funds to embark on a research project to develop their groundbreaking zero-emission ships.
05. October 2022
Lead the way to zero emissions
The company has started a project to develop ships with zero emissions for the Coastal Express by 2030, their most ambitious sustainability initiative to date. Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin is happy to have leading maritime partners on board, but points out that being first movers has its costs.
“The cost of going first is always higher than copying others a few years later. However, our environment is running out of time, and Hurtigruten Norway and our partners want to do our part and lead the way to zero emissions”, said Felin.
Felin points out that only 0.1 per cent of all vessels globally have zero emissions technology today, and that the cruise industry is often seen as lagging behind on environmental action.
“The progress towards sustainability in the cruise industry has been too slow, simply put. Consumers will not continue to accept the use of heavy fuel oil or climate targets that are way behind the Paris Accord. Zero emission ships are the game-changer the cruise industry need”, said Felin.
Researching energy efficient ships
She states that Hurtigruten Norway, in collaboration with research institute SINTEF and a number of other partners are on track with their Sea Zero-project of developing zero-emission ships customized for the Norwegian coast, and have submitted the first funding application for the next phase.
"We have included a team of companies that can make the historic Hurtigruten ships emission-free and help make Norway a leader in green shipping. Now we hope to secure support for a major research and development project to create the technology and ship design that is needed," says Trond Johnsen, Chief Market Developer at SINTEF Ocean.
In August, a feasibility study looking at possible technology and fuel options for the new ships was completed. It points to modern batteries as an interesting choice for more environmentally friendly Hurtigruten ships. As only 1/7 of the global energy today is renewable, and energy is becoming an even more scarce resource, energy efficiency will be a pillar in the Sea Zero project. SINTEF’s scientists and engineers will examine all the systems and equipment in the new ship design to make sure each ship consumes the least energy possible.
Will use leading maritime expertise
An important part of the Sea Zero project has been to get industry-leading partners on board. Thirteen partners have signed on to the team, which will help pioneer new solutions for the industry.
“VARD is proud to be a part of the Sea Zero project and to support Hurtigruten and the project team in the search for the optimal zero emission coastal cruise ship. We will build upon resent years experience in designing and building state of the art expedition cruise ships for the most demanding conditions. In this project the focus will be on the environmental aspects, minimizing the overall impact for a sustainable coastal cruise. An important mission we are highly motivated to pursue and a natural building block in our ZeroClass portfolio”, said Håvard Lien Vollset, Vice President Research & Innovation from Vard.