Wärtsilä to Convert Short Sea Cargo Ship to Battery Power

Hagland Captain power conversion
Photo: Hagland Shipping

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has been selected to provide hybrid battery system in the world’s first conversion of a short sea cargo ship to electric power.

Wärtsilä said Friday it has signed an agreement with international shipping company Hagland Shipping to convert the 2012-built, conventionally-powered MV Hagland Captain to hybrid battery power, which will allow the vessel to operate with zero emissions near shore and in ports.

Wärtsilä says the installation of the hybrid propulsion system will significantly enhance the ship’s environmental performance by reducing emissions, fuel consumption, and noise. Included in the solution are a shore power connection to provide power for loading/unloading operations and for battery charging, a new reduction gear with power take-off and power take-in technology, and a Wärtsilä NOx Reducer.

Wärtsilä and the shipowner estimate that the total reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions after the retrofit could be as much as 80 to 90 percent, while overall fuel cost savings are expected to be in the range of 5 to 10 percent.

The battery capacity will be sufficient to sail in and out of harbor on electric power for approximately 30 minutes, which will effectively reduce noise and pollution levels in harbor.

The project is in response to a collaborative agreement between Hagland Shipping and NOAH AS, the Norwegian environment and resource company. The company receives about 800,000 metric tons of hazardous waste for treatment and storage each year at its facility on the island of Langøya, Norway, located near Holmestrand in the Oslo fjord. This makes for about 300 port calls per year at the island, according to Hagland. 

“Wärtsilä has been chosen as a partner due to their significant experience in providing environmentally sound solutions such as hybrid systems,” says Oivind Wendelboe Aanensen, COO, Hagland Shipping AS. “Wärtsilä’s forward-leaning and supportive approach has enabled Hagland and NOAH to arrive at an optimal solution. We believe our mutual project will have a considerable impact in the market and will further the environmental drive towards sustainable solutions in short-sea shipping.”

Wärtsilä says its hybrid solutions are based on a ‘first-of-its-kind’ fully integrated hybrid power module, which combines engine, battery storage, and power electronics working together through a newly developed energy management system (EMS).

The conversion is expected to take place this year.

Hagland has said total investment for the conversion is estimated to be between NOK 25 and 30 million.