Kongsberg delivers 23% CO2 emissions cut for ship operator

Kongsberg Maritime has delivered a 23 per cent cut in CO2 emissions on the 121-metre passenger vessel MS Richard With, owned by Hurtigruten, a Norwegian coastal ship operator and adventure travel company. 

Last year (2022), Kongsberg partnered with Myklebust Verft shipyard to convert three Hurtigruten ships to hybrid technology, promising reduced emissions and quieter operations. Built in 1993, the MS Richard With was the first of three ships to be relaunched following its extensive refit last summer. The second ship MS Kong Harald returned to service in May (2023), and the final ship, MS Nordlys will be complete in 2025.

The project is thought to be one of the largest of its kind in Europe, with an investment value of approximately €100 million. 

“We have built our last fossil fuel ship for the Norwegian Coastal Express,” says Hurtigruten Coastal Express, CEO Hedda Felin. “We had the opportunity to upgrade the fleet and give the ships the best of today’s technology. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly to retrofit a vessel than to scrap and build a new one.”

The refit programme for MS Richard With included installation of two hybrid shaft generators, two SaveEnergy 1.120kWh lithium-ion batteries and two Bergen B33:45V engines. The vessel also received new tunnel thruster motors, a retractable azimuth thruster, and controllable pitch propeller blades, plus digital management systems. 

“We can do the full turnover of a vessel in four or five months. An entirely new build takes much longer,” says Geir Oscar Løseth, Kongsberg Maritime’s vice president of sales aftermarket advanced offerings. 

“The vessel is also safer and smoother in the water. It gives the crew several layers of reassurance. They can operate on full battery, zero emission operation; they can run on auxiliary engines and they can run on main engines. So, there’s a high level of safety that meets the new requirements for lower-emission travel along the coast.”

Last month (September 2023), Kongsberg appointed Christian Bekkevold Nilsen as its new executive vice president of finance. 

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