Hurtigruten’s new battery hybrid cruise ships will leave space for a battery pack five times larger in capacity than the initial pack being used – and the company revealed its plans to use liquid biogas (LBG) to a group of select press as it unveiled its new ships at Kleven shipyard in Norway.
Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said the new ships would “change the industry, push the boundaries and change the entire face of cruising.”
He said these “hybrid cars of the ocean” would cut emissions by 20%.
Hurtigruten chief operating officer Tor Geir Engebretsen explained that while it was a large battery installation – two batteries of 680 kW – there was room for expanding capacity to include a battery pack five times larger than the original. He explained “Why not buy that today? Batteries are undergoing a lot of development – you can buy and install it with the current technology, but ongoing development means you can wait a little bit and then make it five times bigger for capacity.”
He told Passenger Ship Technology “We are watching the [marine battery] market and what is happening, who the players are and see the battery industry increasing and growing, and so we will have a basic installation and make it five times bigger.”
Asked if the company would use the future increased battery size for purely electric sailing rather than just for peak shaving (the original batteries will just be used for peak shaving), he answered “yes.” But added “Right now, it doesn’t make sense unless you want the ship to be silent, like when close to a polar bear.”
He added “It is always a matter of efficiency of the batteries, look at the automotive industry – there has been amazing development throughout the years.”
He said the amount per kilo a battery takes out in terms of power improves month by month and “that will happen in this [marine] industry.”
Elsewhere, Hurtigruten is the first company to opt to use LBG. This will be added to the power mix of its six Norwegian coast vessels it is converting to LNG and battery power and now LBG as well.
Mr Engebretsen told Passenger Ship Technology “We will blend the LNG with LBG, and the LBG will make up 10-15% of the mix with the LNG.”
It is expected that this percentage will rise as LBG becomes more available and the price comes down. Mr Engebretsen said “At the moment there are very limited volumes. When volumes increase, and more producers come to market, that makes it more attractive to us as the price will come down.” He said that LBG is “CO2 neutral” as it is developed from the waste from natural sources such as dead fish. “There is a lot of waste from the fish farming industry in Norway. It is completely neutral and is used on LNG engines. LNG suppliers can also supply biogas. There are a limited number of biogas producers, and the price is high.”
Bur he singled out what had happened with the increase in battery use within shipping, a trend that LBG could follow.
While Mr Skjeldam pointed out that LBG would cut the emissions from LNG used by 60%. The climate-neutral fuel will be deployed on the first of Hurtigruten’s ships in Q4 next year. He explained that the LBG could only be used on Hurtigruten’s Norwegian coastal fleet of ships because refuelling for LNG/LBG was not yet available for Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ships. “They are building the infrastructure on the Norwegian coast and building up the biogas availability – it needs a large taker like us to build the industry and we are collaborating to build the industry.”
Roald Amundsen will be delivered in Q1 2019 and Fridtjof Nansen in Q3 next year.