Green upgrades underway at Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Express

Written by Nick Blenkey
Norwegian Coastal Express vessel

MS Richard With will be first Norwegian Coastal Express vessel to get full-scale conversion to battery hybrid operation[Image: Hurtigruten Group]

Norway’s Hurtigruten Group is planning a major environmental upgrade of all seven of its Norwegian Coastal Express ships, aiming to cut CO2 emissions by least 25%, and NOx emissions by 80%.

The ships will be upgraded using technologies and solutions adapted to each individual vessel. All have already been fitted with shore-power connectivity — to fully eliminate emissions when connected in port.

Three ships — MS Richard With, MS Nordlys and MS Kong Harald — will undergo a full-fledged transformation to battery-hybrid power, with the installation of new low-emission engines and large battery packs.


A contract for the conversion of these three vessels has been signed with Kongsberg Maritime, which will collaborate closely with Norway’s Myklebust Verft shipyard on the refit.

At the core of the extensive upgrades, each vessel will be fitted with two SAVe Energy 1,120 kWh lithium-ion energy storage systems, controlled via Kongsberg Maritime’s SAVe CUBE integrated drive switchboard. This single cabinet solution includes all frequency converters, drives and DC switching equipment necessary for the hybrid system, controlling all connected thrusters, saving space and simplifying cooling and installation.

“This is one of the largest environmental vessel upgrade projects to be undertaken in Europe,” says Egil Haugsdal, president of Kongsberg Maritime. “For us, it’s rewarding to work with a company that shares our ambitious approach to technology and environmental issues. These green upgrades of Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships represent a forward-looking, sustainable choice for their existing fleet.”


Two new, energy-efficient Bergen B33:45V diesel engines will powerl each vessel, equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to ensure optimal emissions control and compliance with IMO Tier III regulations, and fully compatible with Kongsberg’s digital management solutions, including health monitoring. The refit also includes reblading of the main propellers, new thruster motors, AC switching, safety and telegraph systems, in addition to full system integration and commissioning.

Shaft generators on the engines will supply electrical power, managed by a custom installation of the K-Chief 700 Power Management system. Data from onboard sensors will be collated and shared via the K-IMS (Information Management System) application and analyzed using Vessel Insight.

“Green shipping requires a holistic way of thinking,” says Geir Oscar Løseth, General Manager Sales, Advanced Offerings at KM. “Optimal operation depends on many solutions working together to ensure that fuel consumption remains low. Every aspect of this project — from the equipment chosen to how it is integrated, installed and used — is equally important to achieving the final result.”

The first vessel to undergo an upgrade will be MS Richard With.

“We are honored to be chosen by Kongsberg Maritime as a partner in this project,” says Inge-Jonny Hide, General Manager, Myklebust Verft. “In addition to building state-of-the-art new vessels, it’s important for us to receive orders for upgrades and retrofits than can prolong a ship’s lifetime in compliance with the new environmental regulations.”

Categories: Cruise Ships, Environment, News, Shipping Tags: , , , , , , ,