Vard to Build Two LNG-Powered Ro-Pax Ferries for Norwegian Fjords

An illustration shows the LNG-powered car and passenger ferries for
An illustration shows the LNG-powered car and passenger ferries for Torghatten Nord. Credit: Multi-maritime.no

Offshore and specialized ship-builder VARD has secured contracts for the construction of two LNG powered RoPax ferries for Torghatten Nord in Norway. 

The new car and passenger ferries are designed for environmentally friendly operations in the Norwegian fjords, with a total capacity that is able to accommodate up to 180 cars and 550 passengers and crew. The ferries of Multi Maritime MM 125FD design will measure 130 meters in length with a beam of 20.7 meters, and will have a speed of approximately 18 knots.

The ferries will be operated on the Halhjem-Sandvikvåg crossing, where Torghatten Nord has been awarded a five-year contract with the Norwegian government.

Delivery of the ferries is scheduled from Vard Brevik in Norway in 3Q 2018 and 4Q 2018.

The hulls of the vessels will be built by Vard Braila in Romania. They will be equipped with hybrid gas-electric propulsion with battery systems to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, meeting the latest requirements for energy efficiency.

The total contract value amounts to approximately NOK 600 million (approximately USD 70 million).

CEO and Executive Director  of VARD, Mr. Roy Reite, commented, “I would like to welcome Torghatten Nord as a new client to VARD, and we look forward to working together with their team on this exciting project, combining LNG propulsion and battery systems. VARD has long experience in building LNG powered and dual fuel vessels. We delivered the world’s first LNG powered car- and passenger ferry back in the year 2000, and have delivered a broad range of ships using this innovative technology since, including offshore vessels, ferries and a fish feed carrier.”

Torghatten Nord AS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Torghatten ASA. The company operates seagoing public transportation with a total of 47 express boats and ferries in the counties Nordland and Troms in Norway.

VARD is currently majority-owned by Fincantieri and is now considering a cash offer from the Italian shipbuilding group for the remaining shares of VARD. The offer closes January 12, 2017.