A Rolls-Royce pure-gas engine has propelled Nor Lines’ Kvitbjørn into the history books 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 5000dwt short sea cargo vessel was built in China and has now commenced operations in Northern European waters tyhrough to the north coast of Norway.
The ship, built to Rolls-Royce’s award-winning Environship concept, sailed to Norway from Tsuji Heavy Industries shipyard in Jiangsu, China, via Singapore, and subsequently LNG bunkerings in Cochin (Kochi), India and Cartagena, Spain. This was the longest voyage ever undertaken by a vessel running solely on LNG and was completed in Bergen on 29 March. Therafter Kvitbjørn’s naming ceremony was celebrated at Nor Lines base in Stavanger.
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 ship owners. These include a Bergen engine powered by LNG, the Promas combined rudder and propeller, a hybrid shaft generator to optimise use of electrical power and an innovative wave-piercing hull design. The combined technologies that make the Environship concept reduces 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 realisation 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.”
Kvitbjørn will deliver 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.