Fjord Line world’s first cruise ferry powered by natural gas alone.

By Peter Pospiech at January 01, 2013 08:04
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems, General, LNG fuel

Norwegian shipping company Fjord Line's two new international cruise ferries will be powered solely by environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of the more polluting heavy fuel oil. 

When MS Stavangerfjord is put in operation in April this year, it will be the first and largest cruise ferry in the world to sail with a "single LNG engine," thus using the, for the time being, cleanest fuel available. "In this way Fjord Line will meet the new, stricter standards for sulfur content in fuels long before the deadline in 2015," says CEO Ingvald Fardal.  

Going green: MS Stavangerfjord will be the first cruise ferry in the world to be powered exclusively by natural gas (LNG). 

Fjord Line has two new cruise ferries under construction at Bergen Group Fosen. When both are in service, travelers will be offered daily departures all year round on the routes between Bergen, Stavanger and Hirtshals, and between Hirtshals and Langesund. Now these will also be the "greenest" sea routes between Norway and the EU. While other shipping companies base their natural gas operations on "dual fuel engines," Fjord Line is going one step further by using a "single LNG engine" to reduce emissions and protect the environment. Both the new ships are designed and built to be powered by natural gas. 

"Going with natural gas from day one will mean we can avoid taking the ships out of operation for three months when the new emission standards come in force in 2015. We will take delivery of MS Stavangerfjord from the shipyard in April this year. The other ship will be ready to sail a few months later," says Fardal. 

He notes that Fjord Line's new ships will travel in areas with many shoals. By using only LNG as fuel, the environmental improvement will be significant, both along the coasts and in the harbors where the cruise ferries will operate. 

Proven environmental technology 

Fjord Line has chosen Rolls-Royce as the supplier of the LNG engines. "This is a well-proven technology, produced in Norway that has been used on a number of ferries and ships used in the offshore industry. In addition to meeting important environmental considerations, natural gas operation will be more cost-effective than heavy fuel oil," says Fjord Line's CEO. Emissions of the chosen Rolls-Royce engines are far below the limit values of IMO Tier III, which will be valid in 2016. Rolls-Royce supplies, for each the ferries, four 12-cylinder LNG engines of type B35:40V12PG with an output setting of 5.600 kW@750 rpm, as well as Rolls-Royce Promas Rudder and Propeller systems. 

Pure Rolls-Royce Gas Engine of type B35:40V12PG with power setting of 5.600 kW 

The installed Rolls-Rocye Promas Rudder and Propeller drive system enables fuel saving of up to 8%

Each the new ferries have a capacity of 4.000 to at length of 170 m. They have 306 cabins and space for more than 1.500 passengers as well as 600 cars available.

No emissions of sulfur or heavy metals

Fardal points out that emissions of sulfur from shipping in Northern Europe starting in 2015 cannot grow by more than 0.1 percent. LNG contains no sulfur or heavy metals. It reduces CO2 emissions by 20-30 percent and emissions of NOx by around 90 percent compared to heavy fuel oil. After 2015 the only alternatives to natural gas will be diesel, or investing in expensive scrubbing technology that removes the emissions from the combustion of heavy fuel oil. LNG is also expected to be the most cost-effective fuel in the future and delivers a much bigger environmental benefit than all the other alternatives.

"We are very pleased to have signed agreements that ensure our ships will operate in the most environmentally friendly way and on commercially attractive terms. At this time we would like to thank the NOx Fund for the contribution that has made this possible," says Fardal.


Image and grophs: courtesy of Rolls-Royce and Fjord-Line

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