Sembcorp Marine wins Norwegian plug-in ferry contract

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Artist’s impression of the Norled hybrid plug-in ropax ferry. Three identical vessels will be completed in 4Q2020 for deployment in the Hella-Vangsnes-Dragsvik service route in Norway. During normal operations, the vessels will run on zero-emissions battery power

OCTOBER 29, 2018 — Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine has won two new contracts worth over S$200 million (about US$145 million) that deepen its footprint in renewable energy engineering solutions.

One sees the group enter the RoPax ferry sector with the design and construction of three identical plug-in battery-powered ferries for Norway’s Norled AS that will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020. The other will see two topsides, fabricated for Ørsted Wind Power, delivered in first quarter 2021 to the U.K.’s Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm – the biggest wind farm of its kind in the world

The Norled vessels will be built to a proprietary design from Sembcorp Marine subsidiary LMG Marin. Specially tailored to Norled’s shortsea Hella-Vangsnes-Dragsvik connections in Norway, the 84.2m long multi-deck, double-ended ferries can each carry up to 300 passengers and crew, as well as 80 cars or a combination of 10 cars and 10 trailer trucks.

The highly energy-efficient vessels will operate normally on zero-emissions battery power at a service speed of 10 knots. When required, they can run on combined battery-diesel hybrid backup modes.

“Sembcorp Marine’s project with Norled marks our entry into the ropax ferry design and construction segment,” said the company’s Head of Specialized Shipbuilding, Mr. Tan Heng Jack. “It also demonstrates our ambition to be a leading provider of renewable energy-driven solutions.”

The Norled RoPax ferries will use lithium-ion batteries for propulsion, complemented by energy-efficient solutions throughout the vessels’ design and shore-side hydroelectricity recharging points along their service route. This enables the ferries to operate with zero-emissions cost-competitively.

LMG Marin Managing Director Torbjorn Bringedal said the energy-efficient solutions to be installed on the ferries include quick-connection shore charging plugs; auto-mooring; auto-cross; efficient hull, propulsion and heat recovery systems; as well as minimized hotel and auxiliary loads.

“We are confident the vessels’ energy-saving features will meet Norled’s green requirements,” he said.

“Ship design, passenger comfort and working conditions for personnel were key considerations when we awarded the project to Sembcorp Marine,” said Norled Chief Technology Officer Sigvald Breivik. “We were particularly happy to share with this partner a common understanding of Norled’s ambition to build innovative new vessels equipped with zero-emissions technology, as part of our focus on reducing emissions.”


The two topsides for the Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm are being built under a contract with Ørsted Wind Power subsidiary Optimus Wind Limited that covers engineering, procurement, construction, hook-up and commissioning of the units.

With a combined weight of approximately 8,700 tonnes, the two topsides will be fabricated at Sembcorp Marine’s integrated shipyard facilities for delivery in the first quarter of 2021. The 1.4 gigawatt (GW) capacity Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm – the world’s biggest when operational in 2022 – is located 89 km north-east of Grimsby, and will be capable of supplying green electricity to over 1.3 million U.K. households.

Sembcorp Marine Head of Offshore Platforms Mr. Samuel Wong said, “Sembcorp Marine is honored to have the customer’s trust in our ability to deliver the topsides safely, on time and with the desired quality. We are very grateful to Ørsted and Optimus for the contract, and for the opportunity to progress further in the competitive offshore renewable energy market.”

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