EVOLUTION European operators continue to invest in new technologies and natural gas, energizing the ferry market
erries are at the forefront of implementing new technologies in the maritime industry—leading the way towards greener, more efficient operations. Ferry operators in Europe, particularly in Norway where the government provides incentives for “going green,” are investing in a new class of ferries—ones meant to save on costs, zero out emissions, improve efficiency, and reduce a company’s environmental footprint. This past June MARINE LOG had a chance to go onboard the Vision of the Fjords (pictured above). The 40m x 15m, 400 passenger ferry, which won a number of accolades last year including Ship of the Year at the 2016 SMM exhibition, has an electric-hybrid propulsion system developed by ABB that enables the ferry to switch between diesel power, provided by MAN diesel engines, and electric power supported by batteries from ZEM during operations. The event, which coincided with the NorShipping exhibition, was used to announce 22 Marine Log // August 2017
a new vision from operator The Fjords DA—a 50/50 venture between the Fjord1 Group and Flam AS. That new vision takes the form of the Future of the Fjords. The 42m ferry, currently under construction at Brødrene Aa, will be slightly different from its sister ferry—featuring an 100% electric propulsion system comprised of two 300kW electric motors and producing zero emissions. The new DNV GL classed “light craft” will operate at a cruising speed of 16 knots and is to be delivered April 2018. Zero-emission ferries are a growing trend in Norway. Take for instance the ZeroCat ferry MF Ampere. Built for Norled by Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand AS in 2014, the 80 m all-electric ferry was a pioneer in the market—operating solely on batteries and producing zero emissions, making it the first all-electric car ferry in the world. Siemens provided the all-electric propulsion technology for the ferry, while Canada’s Corvus Energy supplied the energy storage system (batteries).
Delivered in 2015 and in operation the last two years, the MF Ampere has proven to be a stepping-stone towards greater hybrid mobility. Since it began operations, the ferry has afforded the industry a chance to observe how a 100% electric ferry operates, enabling observers to gather information and with that new knowledge further enhance zero emission technology. In fact we may already be on the cusp of the ZeroCat’s evolution. This past May, Norwegian ferry operator Fjord1 signed a contract with Fjellstrand for a fully electric, battery-powered ZeroCat type ferry—think of it as the MF Ampere on steroids. Expected to be larger and “more developed” than the MF Ampere, the new ferry will be 87.5m x 20.8m. It will carry 120 cars, 296 passengers in the saloon space, and operate at higher speeds. The addition of the vessel to its lineup is just the latest in a string of newbuild orders for the operator. Fjord1, which carried nearly 21 million passengers in 2016, is one
Vision of the Fjords photo by Sverre Hjornevik - sverrehjornevik.com
By Shirley Del Valle, Managing Editor