Viking Line says it has cut vessel emissions by a third

Finland-based ferry company Viking Line has managed to cut emissions from its vessels by 30 percent per nautical mile since 2008, the company revealed.

The ferry owner and operator ascribed the success to a variety of measures, the greatest contributor being the € 450 million investment in the two climate-smart vessels on the Baltic Sea: Viking Grace, and Viking Glory.

Viking Glory
Viking Glory; Source: Viking Line

Viking Grace, which made its maiden voyage in 2013, runs entirely on sulphur-free natural gas, which according to Viking Line, results in cutting emissions of sulphur and particulate matter by 85% and greenhouse gas emissions by 15% compared to a vessel that runs on oil.

LNG-powered Viking Grace, which was placed in service in March 2022, has a rotor sail installed onboard making it the first hybrid vessel to use both LNG and wind power. Constructed at China’s XSI shipyard, it is the first ship in the world to be equipped with Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines.

The ship is a part of a Finnish-Swedish EU project, aiming to promote green and efficient maritime transport and give another push to maritime decarbonisation.

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Viking Line started its environmental journey back in the 1980s with a halt on utilization of toxic paint on the bottom of its vessels and using divers to clean vessels’ bottoms as part of anti-fouling measures.

The company’s ships have since started recycling waste and using shore power, and have switched to low sulfur fuel.

We have mainly achieved emission reductions through innovative technological solutions that are not very visible to passengers. The technology is developing at a rapid pace, and many of these innovations originated in Finland. When Viking Grace, which is powered by natural liquefied gas, was placed in service, emissions of nitrogen and particulate matter decreased 85 percent and greenhouse gas emissions decreased 15 percent compared to a vessel that runs on oil. Now ten years later, Glory in turn produces ten percent fewer emissions than Grace. Meanwhile, emissions from our older vessels have also decreased, since we update the technology on our vessels throughout their life cycle,” says Dani Lindberg, Sustainability Manager at Viking Line.

 Viking Line said it would continue to follow advances in new fossil fuels and energy storage, adding that it was taking part in various trials and projects, which include testing new cleantech innovations and clean fuels.

At the end of last year, Viking Line, ESL Shipping, and development services provider Attracs joined forces with Åbo Akademi University and PBI Research Institute to develop emissions reporting models.

The model is aimed at enabling cargo owners to understand the emissions of their supply chain and select verified low-emission transportation that gives them and actors in their supply chain a competitive advantage. 

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As for the outlook, the company plans to run Viking Grace and Viking Glory on biogas or synthetic fuels produced from renewable energy when they become available in the future.