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Color Line and Norled join partners to create new electric system

Wed 29 Nov 2017 by Rebecca Moore

Color Line and Norled join partners to create new electric system
Color Line, Norled, Rolls-Royce and Norwegian Coastal Administration join forces for the zero-emission ferry project

Color Line and Norled have joined forces with Rolls-Royce and Norwegian Coastal Administration for the zero-emission ferry project that will result in a new electrical system that is more efficient and cheaper.

The objective is to follow up this two-year research programme with three full-scale installations.

The idea behind the project – which has received a Nkr5.9M (US$716,791) grant from the Research Council of Norway’s Energix programme – is to combine existing technologies in a new way.

Rolls-Royce said in a statement that the zero-emission ferry project is intended to result in a new electrical system that not only provides more efficient power output and stable operations, but is cheaper to run, easier to integrate and has a lower environmental impact.

The four partners aim to achieve this by investigating new ways of combining systems for energy storage, energy management, onboard energy distribution and recharging. The work is already well underway, and the two ferry operators have specific goals for the outcome.

“Our aim is to gradually reduce the emissions produced by our fleet of car and high-speed passenger ferries and become the first Norwegian operator with 100% zero emissions. We are well underway with electrification on our short ferry routes but are waiting for technology to become mature enough to be able to cover longer stretches. We are therefore delighted to be able to contribute our experience to this project,” said Norled deputy chief executive Lars Jacob Engelsen.

“This project is completely in line with our environmental strategy, in which the electrification of the fleet plays a key role. We want to exploit the energy on board more efficiently, reduce the operating time for our onboard machine park and ensure that we cover a larger proportion of our energy consumption from ‘green’ onshore power rather than fossil fuels,” said Color Line superintendent automation and control Johann Martinussen.

The marine division of Rolls-Royce is the consortium’s technology partner and will provide both finance and manpower. The objective is to develop a system that is commercially attractive for shipowners and as environment-friendly as possible.

“The aim is for the entire system or its component parts to be capable of use on both short-haul car ferries and big cruise ferries. Norway is far out in front with regard to green shipping, and we see an international export potential for these kinds of systems,” said Rolls-Royce – marine general manager product electric and power Sigurd Øvrebø.