Here in the U.S. some vessels may qualify as green or, in the instance of refitted tugs and ferries by the Port Authority of NY & NJ to mitigate against dredge emissions for a major deepening project, are greener than they once were. Then there’s the Foss Marine hybrid tug that was built with help from the Port of Long Beach. And there are the efforts in the Port of Los Angeles which along with POLB has a multifaceted vessel emissions reduction program including regulation, financial inducements, technology demonstrations, and infrastructure investments. What the U.S. government is doing to support technology improvements as part of an energy/environment policy is not readily apparent. Lest we be satisfied that all is well in America let’s peer across the pond to Norway and see….ships powered by LNG and fuel cells.
A liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship has been nominated for the “Ship of the Year 2010” award by Skipsrevyen, a Norwegian maritime publication.
The KV Bergen, and its sister vessels KV Barentshav and KV Sortland, “are by far the world’s most energy efficient and environmentally friendly coast guard vessels,” said a statement from Norwegian shipbuilder Kleven Maritime.
According to the company, the vessels use LNG as a primary source of fuel. In addition, the vessels are equipped with large capacity marine diesel oil (MDO) engines to ensure high speed (maximum 20 knots) and towing performance when required.
“This, along with an optimized hull with very low resistance through the water again optimises fuel consumption during the vessels main operations – patrolling at low speed in rough waters,” the statement added.
“The reduction in NOX emission when using LNG is measured at around 90% compared to MDO, likewise the reduction in CO2 emission is measured at 25%.”
“Launched in 2003, the FellowSHIP project began with a feasibility study and completed basic design and development of fuel cell technologies for vessels by 2005. In 2006, the JIP began development of an auxiliary electric power pack (320kW) fueled by LNG, which was successfully installed in September aboard the OSV Viking Lady… The third and final phase of the project, intends to be testing, qualifying and demonstrating a main fuel cell electric system…
“The success of the project so far has raised expectations that fuel cell technology is close to a commercial application and has resulted in a regulatory review to establish frameworks for moving the technology forward.
“The FellowSHIP project was developed in response to rising concerns about the environmental impact of harmful emissions to air, including NOx, SOx, and CO2. ….
“With new tougher, emissions regulations now being considered by the IMO and EU, demand for commercial alternatives to traditional onboard power systems has risen. Fuel cell technology is not expected to manage the issue alone, but the technology represents a vital piece of the puzzle in certain shipping segments, such as short sea, local port traffic, commuter ferries and cruise ships and offshore, among others…”
The FellowSHIP project is a Joint Industry Project with Norweigian and German support.