Kongsberg to convert Hurtigruten trio to hybrid op

Norwegian maritime technology group Kongsberg Maritime (KM) has signed a contract to upgrade three Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express passenger vessels with comprehensive equipment packages for hybrid operation.

Photo: Kongsberg Maritime

As informed, the cruise company aims to cut CO2 emissions from its operation along the coast of Norway by at least 25 percent.

Kongsberg Marine will collaborate closely with Norwegian shipyard Myklebust Verft on the refit.

The first vessel to undergo an upgrade is MS Richard With, a 1993-built 590-passenger unit that carries the name of Hurtigruten’s founder.

At the core of the extensive upgrades, each vessel will be fitted with two SAVe Energy 1,120kWh lithium-ion Energy Storage systems, controlled via Kongsberg Maritime’s SAVe CUBE integrated drive switchboard. This single cabinet solution includes all frequency converters, drives and DC switching equipment necessary for the hybrid system, controlling all connected thrusters, saving space and simplifying cooling and installation, according to Kongsberg.

“This is one of the largest environmental vessel upgrade projects to be undertaken in Europe,” Egil Haugsdal, President of Kongsberg Maritime, commented.

“These green upgrades of Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships represent a forward-looking, sustainable choice for their existing fleet.”

Photo: Kongsberg Maritime

Two new, energy-efficient Bergen B33:45V diesel engines will propel each vessel, equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to ensure optimal emissions control and compliance with IMO Tier III regulations, and fully compatible with KONGSBERG’s digital management solutions, including health monitoring.

The delivery scope also encompasses reblading of the main propellers, new thruster motors, AC switching, safety and telegraph systems, in addition to full system integration and commissioning.

Shaft generators on the engines will supply electrical power, managed by a custom installation of the K-Chief 700 Power Management system. Data from onboard sensors will be collated and shared via the K-IMS application and analysed using Vessel Insight.

“Green shipping requires a holistic way of thinking. Optimal operation depends on many solutions working together to ensure that fuel consumption remains low. Every aspect of this project – from the equipment chosen to how it is integrated, installed and used – is equally important to achieving the final result,” Geir Oscar Løseth, General Manager Sales, Advanced Offerings at KM, explained.

Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express is part of Hurtigruten Group, the world’s leading adventure travel group, which also includes Hurtigruten Expeditions, the world’s largest expedition cruise line.

“Our goal is to operate all our ships and all our cruises completely emission-free. While we get a step closer day-by-day, we cannot sit idle and wait for the technology to be in place,” Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten Group, said.

“We are working closely with our partners … to drive change and move boundaries, while at the same time utilising the best solutions already available today.” 

The first vessel to undergo an upgrade is MS Richard With.