NES to convert Fjord1 ferries to zero-emission battery operation

Norway’s ferry operator Fjord1 has contracted Norwegian Electric Systems AS (NES) to act as a system integrator and deliver power control, distribution and battery systems to three ferries that will be converted from gas and diesel propulsion to zero-emission battery operation.


As informed, NES, a subsidiary of HAV Group ASA, will also deliver equipment and control systems to four battery charging stations to Fjord1.

From left: SVP Sales at NES Stein Ruben Larsen, Sales manager at NES Martin Aasheim and Project and Technology Manager at Fjord1 ASA, Nils Kristian Berge. Photo: Norwegian Electric Systems

“Our role as system integrator and supplier of complete systems on board and onshore allows us to optimise the charging versus the on-board energy requirements and thereby secure the highest possible energy efficiency. Or put simply, reduce opex to an absolute minimum,” Martin Aasheim, Sales Manager at NES, explained.

Under the contract, NES will equip the three ferries with batteries, charging systems, new generators and upgrades of the AC circuit boards and automation systems. For the battery charging stations, the company will supply charging towers, power electronics and control systems.

NES will design, assemble, and test the systems at its headquarters at Godvik outside Bergen, Norway.

Going forward, NES will work closely with the chosen conversion yards to optimize the delivery for the most energy-efficient operation possible.

NES already has installed battery systems on board 18 zero-emission ferries. The latest contract with Fjord1 will bring the total installed base to 21. 

“Our next step is to contribute to further optimise the ferry transport segment by improving energy efficiency of each ferry-crossing through machine learning and partial autonomy,” Geir Larsen, MD at NES, commented.

Once converted, the three vessels will operate in the ferry services Drag – Kjøpsvik and Bognes – Skarberget in Nordland county, North Norway. Fjord1 is expected to commence their operation on 1 December 2022.

The collaboration with NES comes in the midst of Fjord1’s fleet modernization program aimed at reducing emissions from the company’s entire ferry fleet.

In June, Fjord1 revealed it awarded a contract to Turkish Tersan Shipyard for the construction of two eco-friendly sister ferries. Slated for felivery in Q2 2023, the units will be able to operate in fully electric mode thanks to their battery propulsion, hybrid mode and diesel-electric mode.

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The company wants to become an all-electric ferry operator. Currently, it operates 13 all-electric units, representing over half of Fjord1’s vessel portfolio.