Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg visited Gdansk, Poland last week, where much of Norway’s shipbuilding and repair services are carried out, reports maritime magazine Skipsrevyen AS. While there, he participated in a ceremony of first steel cutting for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ferry for Norwegian Owners at REMONTOWA Shipbuilding (formerly Northern Shipyard – Stocznia Polnocna S.A.). The LNG ferry is the fourth in a series of LNG-powered ships being built for coastal shipping operator Torghatten Nord AS.
REMONTOWA Group, including Gdansk Shiprepair Yard “Remontowa” S.A. where vessel conversions to natural gas fuel are carried out, is a major contributor to Norwegian-Polish trade volume. During the first half of 2011 Fjord1 MRF took delivery of converted LNG powered car and passenger ferry Glutra (conversion included lengthening). This ferry conversion was reportedly the world’s first LNG fuelled ferry, built in Norway in 2000.
The drive for switching to natural gas engines comes from the establishment of the Emission Control Area for the Baltic Sea and parts of The North Sea. By utilising natural gas, SOx, NOx and particulate matter emissions are reduced by up to 80 %, while CO2 can be reduced by between 15 % and 25 % compared to regular marine diesel (MDO) or heavy fuel oil (HFO).
Numerous Norwegian shipping companies are committed to application of LNG fuelled propulsion plants on their ships, especially those operated in coastal and fjord trades. This trend is supported by the Norwegian Government, which provides some incentives for shipowners putting LNG powered ships into operation (e.g. the Norwegian government’s NOx Fund, which provides subsidies in support of projects that reduce NOx pollution).
Gdansk Shiprepair Yard “Remontowa” S.A. has been formally recognised for its commitment to alternative fuels, being awarded Green Ship of the Year title for its Moldefjord double-ended LNG powered ferry built for Fjord1 MRF in 2010. Green Ship Technology Award is a prize instituted by “Lloyd’s List” events to recognize efforts in maintaining the marine environment and mitigating the environmental effects of the shipping industry.
Current REMONTOWA is LMG 120 type (120 PCU – Personal Car Units capacity) gas powered ro-pax ferries Torghatten Nord AS.
In 2009-2010, the yard built a series of double-ended, gas powered (LNG) fjord ferries, SKS 125 type, for Fjord1 MRF AS.