Norwegian transport operator Fjord1 will celebrate a naming ceremony for MF Boknafjord, described as the world’s largest natural gas ferry, today. The new eco-friendly ferry, delivered by Fiskerstrand BLRT AS, will primarily serve the Arsvågen-Mortavika route on the Boknafjord in Rogaland County. The naming ceremony will take place at Fiskerstrand Shipyard in Ålesund, Western Norway, with Minister of Transport and Communications Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa as godmother.
The new, gas-operated ferry is designed by Multi Maritime AS in Førde, Western Norway and has a total length of 129.9 m, a maximum width of 19.2 m and a capacity of 242 passenger cars or 22 heavy goods vehicles in combination with passenger cars. The ferry holds 600 passengers including staff. The ferry is built according to Det Norske Veritas (DNV)’s Class, has deadweight of approx. 1350 metric tonnes and is approx. 7500 register tonnes. Furthermore, the ship has four azimuth thrusters that are run by a gas-electric system consisting of three large LNG gas motors and alternators. The gas motors will give a service speed of approx. 20 knots.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA), that ordered the new liquefied natural gas (LNG) ferry due to a large increase in traffic in the area, is now looking forward to getting it into operation.
In reducing NOX emissions of approximately 90 per cent, the natural gas-powered ferries are very environment-friendly: “We strive to minimise our effect on the environment around us, and are therefore encouraged by the government’s strong focus on eco-friendly forms of energy consumption in the tendering process”, says Leif Øverland, CEO of Fjord1.
Aside from being gas-powered, the ferry’s hull design and more efficient engine technology yield additional energy savings by reducing fuel consumption and methane emissions.
By changing from diesel to natural gas, virtually all emissions of particles (smoke/soot) are eliminated, as well as all emissions of sulphur. Furthermore, CO2 emissions will be reduced by as much as 25 per cent.
Fjord1 has long focused on eco-friendly transport solutions. The company started operating the world’s first gas ferry Glutra in Møre og Romsdal County in 2000. The ferry route serving the coastal trunk road in Rogaland and Hordaland Counties has since 2007 been served by five such ferries from Fjord1. This third ferry on the Arsvågen-Mortavika route—which will also be a substitute vessel for Halhjem-Sandvikvåg—will thus be the sixth gas ferry in this region. By the end of 2011, Fjord1 will have 12 gas ferries in operation along the Norwegian coast, making the company a world leader.
“We have an increased focus on environmental aspects in all parts of our company, and look forward to using this modern, future-oriented ferry in our transport network”, says Stig Kristoffersen, Managing Director of Fjord1 Fylkesbaatane, which operates these ferries.
Fiskerstrand BLRT AS is a Norwegian-registered joint venture company established 50/50 in 2007 by Fiskerstrand Verft AS in Ålesund and Western Shipyard in Klaipeda, Lithuania. The two shipyards have cooperated closely since 2000 and the new company is responsible for the shipyard group’s shared focus on shipbuilding and projects related to renewable energy.
(This article compiled using information from a Fjord1 press release)