Norway’s pioneering cruise line Hurtigruten (the name means ‘the fast route’) has decided to power their ships with liquified biogas (LBG), a renewable fossil-free fuel produced from dead fish and other organic waste.
With a growing fleet of 17 ships, Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line. The company has invested heavily in green technology and is considered the world’s greenest cruise company. Powering cruise ships with liquified biogas (LBG) is its next step.
“What others see as a problem, we see as a resource and a solution. By introducing biogas as fuel for cruise ships, Hurtigruten will be the first cruise company to power ships with fossil-free fuel”, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.
Renewable biogas (biomethane) is a clean source of energy, considered the most eco-friendly fuel currently available. Biogas is already used as fuel in small parts of the transport sector, especially in buses. In Sweden, according to national statistics, biomethane makes up 91.9% (Jan-Sep 2018) of CNG sold for vehicle use. Northern Europe and Norway, which have large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste, have a unique opportunity to become world leader in biogas production.
By 2021, Hurtigruten plans to operate at least 6 of its ships on a combination of biogas, LNG and large battery packs.
“While competitors are running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature. Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping, and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow”, Skjeldam says.
“Hurtigruten’s decision to use biogas/LBG from organic waste is the kind of operational solution we aim for. The waste is refined into fossil free energy. This solution also eliminates the emissions of sulphur, NOx and particles”, Frederic Hauge, founder and general manager of the NGO Bellona Foundation says.
There are more than 300 cruise ships in the world, many of them running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO). The daily emissions from one single mega cruise ship can according to NGOs be equivalent to one million cars.