Hurtigruten has announced plans to operate at least six of its ships on a combination of biogas, liquid natural gas and large battery packs by 2021.
“What others see as a problem, we see as a resource and a solution,” said Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive officer of Hutigruten. By introducing biogas as fuel for cruise ship, Hurtigruten will be the first cruise company to power ships with fossil-free fuel.”
Biogas is already use as fuel in small parts of the transportation sector, including buses. Northern Europe and Norway, which has large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste, have a unique opportunity to become a world leader in biogas production.
Company officials said they would love for other cruise companies to follow their lead.
Hurtigruten, in business for 125 years, was the first cruise line to ban single-use plastic.
In 2019, company officials said they plan to start a large-scale green upgrade project, replacing traditional diesel propulsion with battery packs and gas engines on several of their ships. They also plan to introduce the world’s first battery-hybrid powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen.
“Hurtigruten’s decision to use biogas from organic waste is the kind of operational solution we aim for,” said Frederic Hauge, founder and general manager of the NGO Bellona Foundation.
Most of the more than 300 cruise ships in the world run on cheap, polluting heavy oil. Daily emissions from one single mega cruise ship can be equivalent to one million cars, according to the NGOs.
The company is currently building three hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships at Norway’s Kleven Yard – the MS Roald Amundsen, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, and a third yet unnamed sister ship – to be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
“This is just the beginning,” Skjeldam said. “Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line, and that comes with a responsibility,” he added. “Our ultimate goal is to operate our ships completely emission free.”