Norwegian ferry operator Fjord Line announced this week the receipt of a EUR 124 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the growth of the company’s fleet. Between 2013 and 2014, two new LNG-powered ferries, MS Stavangerfjord and MS Bergensfjord were delivered to Fjord Line from Bergen Group Fosen and are currently in operation between Norway and Denmark.
Mihai Tanasescu, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Norway, said: “The EIB strongly supports the development of sustainable European transport. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Fjord Line, as the new vessels fuelled by LNG have improved the overall environmental performance of the company’s fleet. As they have also increased the capacity deployed on the routes between Norway and Denmark, this investment will contribute to the EU policy of promoting short sea shipping – a transport mode which is highly efficient not only in terms of environmental performance but also as regards energy efficiency.”
While at Risavika Terminal last month near Stavanger, gCaptain visited the MS Bergensfjord which at the time, was conducting LNG bunkering via Skangass’ LNG tanker trucks at the port. Located directly next door to the Risavika terminal is Skandgass’ LNG terminal which is in the process of building a pipeline directly to the terminal in order to remove the need for bunkering trucks. According to Tor Morten Osmundsen, CEO of Skandgass, the plan is to have the pipeline in operation this summer.
Besides a massively reduced environmental impact from its clean-burning engines, Fjordline CEO Ingvald Fardal notes his company’s ships have other highlights including a highly engineered bow bulb which allows highly efficent sailing at 20 knots, Rolls-Royce Promas thrusters and a steam generator that supplies power to the hotel load.
Fjord Line’s new cruise ferries are both 170 meters long and have deadweight of 3,900 tons. Each ship has 306 cabins.