A new ship for Norwegian shipping firm Nor Lines has become the world’s first vessel to sail from Asia and Europe solely on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The ship, name Kvitbjørn, completed the journey late last month from Tsuji Heavy Industries shipyard in Jiangsu, China to Norway, via Singapore, and subsequently LNG bunkerings in Cochin, India and Cartagena, Spain.
This trip marked the longest voyage ever undertaken by a vessel running solely on LNG.
Kvitbjørn is a 5,000 DWT short sea cargo vessel built to Rolls-Royce’s award-winning Environship concept.
Tor Arne Borge, Nor Lines, CEO said: “The success of the voyage from Asia to Europe on LNG not only confirms the energy-saving and emissions-reduction attributes of Rolls-Royce’s pure gas engine but provides evidence to owners of larger tonnage that LNG is not just for short sea coastal ships. The Environship concept with the Bergen engine has exceeded all our expectations.”
The adaptable Environship concept incorporates a range of energy efficient technologies, which in the case of Kvitbjørn include a Bergen engine powered by LNG, the Promas combined rudder and propeller, a hybrid shaft generator to optimize use of electrical power and an innovative wave-piercing hull design.
The combined technologies that make the Environship concept reduces CO2 emissions by up to 40 percent compared to similar diesel powered vessels, dependent on operational profile, according to Rolls-Royce.
Oscar Kallerdahl, Rolls-Royce, Sales Manager- LNG Systems, commented: “The realization of Kvitbjørn is a significant milestone in the shipping industry’s fundamental transition from diesel fuel to LNG. It is important to note that the Bergen B35:40 gas engine is not a dual-fuel engine. A pure gas engine and shaft generator driving a controllable pitch propeller is the most effective configuration for keeping emissions low and improving fuel consumption.”
This arrangement is coupled with a hybrid shaft generator for electric Power Take In (PTI) which ensures flexibility and redundancy of the system when needed, according to Rolls-Royce.
John Knudsen, Rolls-Royce, President- Commercial Marine, said: “We congratulate Nor Lines on the delivery of Kvitbjørn, and wish the company every success in their future steps towards a greener shipping industry. The success of this historic delivery voyage will give encouragement to those customers looking to embrace more environmentally friendly ship designs and technology.”
Kvitbjørn will enter service delivering cargo between Hamburg, the Netherlands and the Norwegian mainland’s northernmost city, Hammerfest. Nor Lines expects to take delivery of sister ship Kvitnos in June.
All photos copyright Rolls-Royce