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New funding for Norwegian R&D project into electric ferries

New funding for Norwegian R&D project into electric ferries
The ‘Zero Emission Ferry’ project, a joint research initiative of Norwegian ferry operators Color Line and Norled, the Norwegian Costal Administration (NCA) and Rolls-Royce, has been awarded a NOK5.9m ($700,000) grant from the Research Council of Norway’s ENERGIX programme.

The project aims to create a new electrical system for vessel propulsion that provides more efficient power output and stable operations while minimising environmental impact. This will be achieved by “investigating new ways of combining systems for energy storage, energy management, onboard energy distribution and recharging,” said the partners.

Work is already underway, with Norled aiming to become the first Norwegian ferry operator with 100% zero emissions, according to deputy ceo Lars Jacob Engelsen. “We are well underway with electrification on our short ferry routes,” he said, “but are waiting for technology to become mature enough to be able to cover longer stretches.”

Color Line’s objective, said Johann Martinussen, superintendent automation & control, is to “exploit the energy on board more efficiently, reduce the operating time for our onboard machine park and ensure that we cover a larger proportion of our energy consumption from ‘green’ onshore power rather than fossil fuels”.

NCA Shipping Company was one of the first Norwegian shipowners to use batteries on board, its multifunctional vessel Bøckfjord (pictured) being equipped with a hybrid system and a new vessel with an even larger battery pack under construction.

“The aim is for the entire system or its component parts to be capable of use on both short-haul car ferries and big cruise ferries,” said Sigurd Øvrebø, gm Product Electric and Power at Rolls-Royce – Marine. “Norway is far out in front with regard to green shipping, and we see an international export potential for these kinds of systems.”

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