Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express partners with SINTEF to create zero emission ships for the Norwegian coast by 2030.
Since 1893, Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express has carried local passengers, goods, and tourists between 34 ports. The company is currently upgrading its existing fleet through what is one of the biggest environmental upgrade programs of it's kind in Europe, that will see CO2-emissions cut by 25% and NOx by 80%. The company aims to be a leader in sustainable travel, and Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin makes it clear that the goal is zero emissions.
“We have built our last fossil fueled ship for the Norwegian Coastal Express. When we sail the coastal route for the next 100 years, it will be emission-free, making the world's most beautiful voyage even more spectacular,” said Felin.
The Norwegian Coastal Express’ route from Bergen to Kirkenes is an ideal starting point for the development of zero emission passenger ships.
Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express holds a unique position along the coast as it stops at 34 ports, which means there’s strong opportunities to use future infrastructure for green energy, and several ports plan to expand shore power connectivity. Norway’s strong research and maritime industry and political willingness to support green shipping are positive factors that make the Norwegian coast a perfect fit for this type of initiative.
SINTEF gets on board
The Norwegian research institute SINTEF is on board from the start. SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations, which holds the world’s leading professional environments within green maritime technology and energy systems.
“With this project, Hurtigruten Norway and SINTEF can show the world that green and sustainable passenger ships can be achieved in the near future. Cutting emissions in the maritime sector is by no means an easy feat, and we need ambitious companies like Hurtigruten Norway to take initiatives like this,” said SINTEF President Alexandra Bech Gjørv.
The project includes all aspects of a new ship build program, from design, propulsion, energy and fuel to hotel operations and digital solutions. The goal is that the new ships will be emission-free to both air and sea, and sustainable from a circular economy perspective. As a partner, SINTEF will provide analysis, research and development.
“The first phase of the project has already been kicked-off and consists of a feasibility study, looking at technological and operational solutions for zero emission Hurtigruten Coastal Express ships on the Norwegian coast,” said SINTEF Ocean Market Director Trond Johnsen. "Zero-emission fuels and power systems is an obvious focus area for the project. However, the availability, production cost and energy density of such fuels will require massive cuts in energy usage as well, making energy-efficiency the probable main challenge," said Johnsen.