Long voyage by short sea ship sets LNG fuel distance record

APRIL 16, 2015 — Nor Lines' Kvitbjørn, a 5,000 dwt short sea cargo vessel built to the Rolls-Royce Environship concept, has made history by becoming the world's first vessel to operate between Asia and Europe solely on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the ship's bunker fuel.

The ship made its delivery voyage from the Tsuji Heavy Industries shipyard in Jiangsu, China, to Bergen, Norway, via Singapore, with subsequentLNG bunkerings in Cochin, India and Cartagena, Spain. According to Rolls-Royce, this was the longest voyage ever undertaken by a vessel running solely on LNG.

Tor Arne Borge, Nor Lines, CEO said: "The success of the voyage from Asia to Europe on LNG not only confirms the energy-saving and emissions-reduction attributes of Rolls-Royce's pure gas engine but provides evidence to owners of larger tonnage that LNG is not just for short sea coastal ships. The Environship concept with the Bergen engine has exceeded all our expectations."

The Environship, which can be adapted for different ship types, incorporates a range of Rolls-Royce technologies to deliver efficiency savings for shipowners. These include a Bergen engine fueled by LNG, the Promas combined rudder and propeller, a hybrid shaft generator to optimize use of electrical power and an innovative wave-piercing hull design. The combined technologies that make the Environship concept reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40 per cent compared to similar diesel powered vessels, dependent on operational profile.

Oscar Kallerdahl, Rolls-Royce, Sales Manager- LNG Systems, said: "The realization of Kvitbjørn is a significant milestone in the shipping industry's fundamental transition from diesel fuel to LNG. It is important to note that the Bergen B35:40 gas engine is not a dual-fuel engine. A pure gas engine and shaft generator driving a controllable pitch propeller is the most effective configuration for keeping emissions low and improving fuel consumption."

This arrangement is coupled with a hybrid shaft generator for electric Power Take In (PTI) which ensures flexibility and redundancy of the system when needed.

John Knudsen, Rolls-Royce, President- Commercial Marine, said: "We congratulate Nor Lines on the delivery of Kvitbjørn, and wish the company every success in their future steps towards a greener shipping industry. The success of this historic delivery voyage will give encouragement to those customers looking to embrace more environmentally friendly ship designs and technology."
Kvitbjørn is about to enter operation delivering cargo in ports between Hamburg, the Netherlands and the Norwegian mainland's most Northern city, Hammerfest. Nor Lines expects to take delivery of sister ship Kvitnos in June.

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