Full steam ahead for sustainable sea transport
Two new LNG cruise ferries are providing an efficient and environmentally friendly way of travelling between Bergen, Stavanger, Langesund (Norway) and Hirtshals (Denmark). The EIB is supporting the expansion of the Fjord Line fleet with a EUR 124m loan.
The loan has supported the acquisition of two new ferries – MS Stavangerfjord and MS Bergensfjord. Constructed to the highest environmental standards, the two award-winning twin vessels are the world’s first cruise ferries to be operated by natural gas (LNG) alone, and also the largest cruise ferries in the world with single LNG engines.
Award-winning eco designThe application of clean technology will significantly reduce harmful emissions from the 170 metre-long and 3 900 tonne vessels. CO2 emissions are 23% less than for standard marine engines powered by heavy fuel oil. Other emission benefits are equally impressive: 100% reduction of sulphur, 100% reduction of particles and 90% reduction of nitrogen oxides. Furthermore, thanks to improved hull form and rudder/ propeller systems, overall fuel consumption has been reduced by 5% with wasteheat recovery systems adding another 1-2%.
“Fjord Lines has always aimed to be highly climate-aware and responsible. Although conventional engines had already been installed, we changed the design for both vessels in 2012 to incorporate state-of-theart LNG technology, with the result that we now have two of the most environmentally friendly cruise ferries ever built”, said Peter Frølich, Chairman of the Board of Fjord Line.
Strengthening maritime linksThe new vessels are set to boost capacity and increase the number of routes from two to four with daily departures from all ports in Norway, Denmark and Sweden as of 2015. They will operate the route between Bergen – Stavanger – Hirtshals and Hirtshals – Langesund, offering transport for up to 1 500 passengers and 600 vehicles each day. This boosts Fjord Line’s capacity with some 700 000 passengers and 60 000 cargo units expected in 2015, compared to 190 000 passengers and 15 000 units of cargo prior to the upgrade.
Beyond its environmental benefits and capacity improvements, the introduction of the new ferries has created approximately 400 new jobs in the EU.
“The EIB financing has, due to favourable terms and conditions, increased the project’s sustainability and thus reduced the risk related to the ship investments. The loan assures us long-term financial resources at a lower cost, thus providing financial value added for Fjord Line”, Frølich explains.
Apart from offering a sustainable transport solution, the new vessels also help to bring Norway and the EU closer together by providing an attractive and reliable maritime link.
“The EIB’s involvement is recognition of Fjord Line’s commitment to sustainable sea transportation between Norway and the EU. We are proud to be the first Norwegian maritime transport company to have signed a loan agreement with the EIB”, he adds.