Taking Norwegian innovation in a new direction?

by | 9th May 2019 | News

Home News Taking Norwegian innovation in a new direction?

The Naval Architect: May 2019Nor-Shipping

Scrubber makers in particular must be having mixed feelings about
Nor-Shipping for after a surge in scrubber sales through the second half of 2018 and into 2019, potential bans on open loop systems may be having a negative effect on sales. One of those bans will affect the cruise ships calling at Norway’s heritage fjords, despite Norway itself having no problems in permitting scrubbers on any vessel flying the Norwegian flag.


This year, the Nor-Shipping themes, conferences, seminars and workshops are very much environment orientated. The exhibition organisers have partnered with the UN’s Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business, while sustainability and the Blue Economy concept are central pillars of the conference and special events programme. For 2019, part of the Nor-Shipping exhibition space will be dedicated to organisations which promote decarbonisation solutions and sustainable technologies.


Nor-Shipping will devote the whole 1,300m2 of Hall A at its 2019 exhibition to the concept of Blue Economy, showcasing ‘tomorrow’s business solutions today’. The hall will be transformed into an interactive landscape designed to highlight, promote and accelerate business practices and players that balance maritime and ocean activity growth with sustainable resource use and environmental protection. Five key focus areas will provide structure for the space: sustainable ocean economy, sustainable infrastructure, decarbonisation, protection of ocean life, and the development and implementation of responsible practices.


The environmental themes are however, nothing new for Norway. The country was the first to introduce a NOx tax, the funds from which have been used to subsidise several maritime projects and ship adaptations aimed at reducing NOx emissions. In pursuit of lower NOx emissions, Norwegian equipment suppliers and ship operators have enthusiastically embraced developments such as LNG. Although the alternative fuel has been successfully employed in many ferries and offshore vessels, its appeal for Norwegian operates seems to have diminished as of late.


Using LNG is also a good way to meet the impending 2020 global sulphur cap rules and it could be a stepping stone to the IMO’s decarbonisation ambitions. However, Norway – while not actually turning its back on LNG – is already well down the road to other options in some local applications.


For example, in the country’s all-important ferry sector, it is batteries and hydrogen that are grabbing attention. Ampere, Norway’s first battery powered ferry, entered service just before the 2015 Nor-Shipping exhibition and has since been followed by several more including the carbon fibre catamaran, Vision of the Fjords. Norway does have a particular advantage when it comes to battery power because the country is mostly self-sufficient in clean hydro-electric power – something that not all countries can emulate.


Thus far most of the ferries that run wholly or partially on battery power have been small ships but Norway has also targeted bigger vessels. Hurtigruten, the country’s long-distance coastal ferry operator, has made headlines with its order for two hybrid expedition cruise ships at Kleven Yard – which it now owns. The first of these, Roald Amundsen, is due for delivery this year. Hurtigruten has also decided to hybridise many of its existing 1990s-built vessels and to convert their existing diesel engines to run on LNG or biomethane derived from fish waste.

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