When it comes to utilising alternative fuels and propulsion, few have the credentials of Norway’s Eidesvik in the offshore supply vessel market
Among its accomplishments are the first OSV with LNG power, first with a battery pack and the first with a fuel cell. All of those accomplishments were racked up by Eidesvik’s platform supply vessel Viking Lady, starting with its dual-fuel propulsion in 2003.
In its latest investment, Eidesvik Offshore has selected Wärtsilä to engineer, supply, and commission a battery-hybrid propulsion system to upgrade 145.6-m subsea support construction vessel Viking Neptun.
At Riviera’s Maritime Hybrid & Electric Conference in Bergen, Norway in September, Eidesvik executive vice president Jan Lodden told delegates Viking Neptun was a significant development as it was “a step change” from Viking Lady. “The more installed power you have,” said Mr Lodden, “the more savings you can get.”
Built in 2015, Viking Neptun is fitted with Wärtsilä engines and Wärtsila’s low loss concept electrical systems. By upgrading to a battery hybrid solution, Viking Neptun will be able to operate on a single generator combined with battery power during dynamic positioning operations.
Using the energy storage systems to deliver peak-shaving power in combination with a single generator as opposed to using multiple generators is expected to yield substantial fuel savings and improved environmental performance. Additionally, battery-hybrid propulsion should lower maintenance costs through the reduction of engine load and the number of running hours.
“Our hybrid solutions are well established and proven, and this latest project order is a further endorsement of our competences in this field,” said Wärtsilä Marine head of sales, service unit Nordics and Baltics Cato Esperø.
Eidesvik is due to refit another one of its vessels, Viking Avant, with a battery-hybrid propulsion system when it undergoes class survey in H1 2020.
Since 2009, Eidesvik will have invested Nkr113M (US$12.5M) in battery-hybrid refits on six vessels, with an additional Nkr66M (US$7.3M) in support from Enova.
National oil companies and charterers such as Equinor are counting on OSV owners to reach ambitious goals in reducing CO2 emissions in the logistics supply chain.
“It is very important to our company that we play our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, which is why we give a high level of priority to sustainable operations for our fleet,” said Eidesvik vice president, technology & development Vermund Hjelland.
For Viking Neptun, Wärtsilä will fit two 870-kWh battery packs and two 2.7-MW drives for the hybrid system pre-installed in containers. Wärtsilä will also upgrade the existing switchboard and the integrated automation and power management systems. The project is expected to be completed in six months.