Going Fishing with LNG

| Norway, Lødingen | Source: Kystmagasinet

Asbjørn Selsbane AS - Julianne III (Image: Thomas Hjønnevåg)

Norwegian fishing and marine aquaculture company Asbjørn Selsbane AS has received funding from Norway’s NOx Fund to determine the feasibility of liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered propulsion for fishing vessels. Kystmagasinet (Coast Magazine) reports that if the project goes ahead, and this seems likely, then this will be a world-first.

General manager Andreas Kristoffer Hansen at Asbjørn Selsbane AS, emphasised to Kystmagasinet that the project was still in its early stages, with a decision yet to be made about applying the technology to a new vessel or to the conversion of the vessel Julianne. These decisions are probably not taken until the autumn, Hansen added, when it will be revealed whether the first application will be for coastal marine or deep-sea fishing.

The removal of the length limit on fishing vessels has made it possible to build a vessel with the LNG tanks, without sacrificing cargo capacity.

In April Norway’s NOx Fund granted a total of KON 27.6 million (USD 5.2 million) to the project, of which approximately NOK 14 million (USD 2.75 million) has been allocated to an LNG engine and a propulsion system provided by Rolls Royce. The balance of funds will be applied to “Gas Operations” of the new fishing vessel, to be developed by ship solutions provider Wärtsilä Corporation.

Several other fishing companies are understood to also be investigating LNG options, encouraged by the significant recent investment in other forms of LNG-powered vessels and plans to establish bunkering facilities in the region. For example Fjord Line has commissioned a new large LNG ferry for the Bergen – Stavanger – Hirtshals connection.

Rolls Royce, Wärtsilä and several others can now offer effective marine propulsion engines with LNG operations. The engines that run on LNG, compared with diesel engines, produce about 25 percent less CO2 emissions, 85 percent less NOx and virtually zero emissions of SOx.

Norway’s NOx Fund

The Business Sector’s NOx Fund, based in Oslo, has the primary objective of reducing NOx emissions. On December 14th 2010 the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment along with 15 organizations signed the new Environmental Agreement for NOx covering the period 2011 to 2017. This agreement obligates the organizations to facilitate concrete reductions in NOx emissions. The NOx Fund administers the support rates.

The rates for payments to the NOx Fund, as promulgated by the Fund’s Board, are set to NOK 11 per kilo NOx for the offshore industry, and NOK 4 for the other sectors (shipping, supply-vessels, fishing, industry and aviation, district heating etc.).

Among the areas in which it is possible to apply for support from the NOx Fund are marine engines.

Det Norske Veritas (DNV) are responsible for the processing of applications for support for NOx reducing measures from ships, the mainland industries and the offshore sector.

The NOX Fund has already assisted in the development of LNG-powered propulsion for ferries.

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