‘North Sea Giant’ to become world’s first DP3 hybrid vessel

Finland’s Wärtsilä has agreed to retrofit the world’s first energy storage solution (ESS) on board a large offshore vessel.

Wärtsilä said on Friday that the North Sea Giant subsea construction vessel would be fitted with an energy storage system that reduces the vessel’s energy consumption and exhaust emissions.

The company added that, once the North Sea Giant is retrofitted with the energy storage system, it would become the world’s first DP3 large hybrid offshore vessel.

The ESS will improve the operational efficiency and environmental footprint of the vessel, responding to key requirements of Norwegian North Sea Shipping AS, the owner of the vessel.

Typically, a vessel with dynamic positioning uses two or more engines simultaneously to secure backup power. This means that the engines’ load runs low. By using a hybrid or battery system to provide the needed backup power, the operational engine can be used closer to its optimal load.

In addition to the hybrid/battery solution, Wärtsilä will supply transformers, filters, a switchboard, shore connection equipment as well as upgrade existing components and perform commissioning.

Hallvard Klepsvik, North Sea Shipping CEO, said: “For us, it is important to reduce environmental emissions and modernize the vessel to make it more competitive. Also, with a more efficient vessel, we will save fuel expenses. The estimated reduction in emissions is 5.5 million kg CO2, 30 tons of NOx and 1,200 kg SOx per year.

“After Wärtsilä had retrofitted our ship Atlantic Guardian in 2014, we really understood how much fuel could be saved by improving the vessel’s efficiency. Efficiency also saves time, because you only need to refuel every second or third port visit.”


Cooperation with DNV GL

Since the North Sea Giant is a DP3 vessel, it is listed in the most advanced category of vessels that apply dynamic positioning. Installation of an ESS into such a vessel has never been done before and required a redefinition of applicable classification rules. The company said that it was working with North Sea Shipping and classification body DNV GL on the matter.

Cato Esperø, director of sales for Norway in Wärtsilä, said: “We are the first in the world to work with hybrid systems on bigger vessels such as the DP3 classified North Sea Giant, and the project will set a new standard for this type of vessels.”

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