As a country with 2,650km of shoreline, coastal and shortsea shipping has always been essential to Norwegian transportation. It’s understandable then why Norway has grown into a leader in developing innovative and, increasingly, environmentally sustainable marine technologies that not only cater to coastal and shortsea requirements, but also serve as a means for trialling concepts that could in the future be upscaled for deep-sea shipping.
One project having considerable success is the Green Shipping Programme (GSP), a Norwegian private-public partnership. The programme’s ambitious goal is to establish coastal Norwegian shipping as the most efficient and environmentally friendly in the world, focusing upon emission reduction solutions that are both profitable and potentially exportable to international markets.
Narve Mjøs, GSP director for DNV GL, believes such an inclusive approach is key both to achieving a successful green shift and the programme’s continuing growth. “We started up in 2015 with 16 private organisations and two government ministries, today we have 65 organisations altogether.
“The programme is a common effort with cargo owners, ports, yards, vendors and specialists in different types of alternative energy all participating. We also have the regulatory authorities and representatives of the financial world, such as investors and lenders, involved,” he tells The Naval Architect.
“For Norway it’s also about creating green jobs and increasing our competitive advantage. In particular being the first with green technologies in different segments of shipping. Coastal shipping can be an incubator for environmentally friendly shipping.”
Achieving this means the continuous development of both bridging and green technologies that can achieve market penetration. Creating an open dialogue to explore those potential solutions is at the heart of the GSP.
“If we’re going to achieve a green shift then all players in the value chain need to be focused and participate. Every partner has a different way of participating, but a pilot study with everyone sitting around a table is always more effective than not having it. For instance, if there’s a safety question you have the class society there, the maritime authorities or the vendors of safety equipment,” says Mjøs.
Among the 26 pilot projects there have been some notable successes. One of the first pilots launched in the initial phase of the programme was a project led by Altera Infrastructure, (formerly Teekay) to develop a next generation Suezmax shuttle tanker which runs on LNG, volatile organic compounds combined with a hybrid battery system for the main machinery that cuts running hours. The first in the series, Aurora Spirit, was delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in January.
Another pilot involves ASKO, the logistics company for Norway’s largest food supplier, the establishment of an emission-free supply route from its main storage facility in Vestby and a regional distribution centre in Sande, on the other side of the Oslo fjord. “There will be electric trucks taking containers down to the port at Moss, autonomous zero-emission cargo handling in the port, an autonomous battery-powered ferry taking the cargo across the fjord and the same facilities across the other side.”
Mjøs is also keen to highlight the Environment Port Index, a Phase III pilot which has established a methodology for quantifying and reporting ships’ environmental performance in ports. “There are already 13 Norwegian ports striving towards this index, which is a measure with respect to CO2 emissions, NOx, SOx and particulate matter. Shipowners that score well pay a lower port fee, while a bad score is more expensive.”
Phase IV of the program is due to finish at the end of this year but there are already plans to extend it for a further one to one and a half years. It has also gained considerable attention internationally, having received a Lloyd’s List Global Environmental Award several years ago and being established as a formal project to promote the United Nations’ sustainability goals. Although partner meetings are held in Norwegian the extent of foreign interest has led to some pilots also being made available in English.
“The thinking we have in Norway is that with joint funding and collaboration we can come up realistic and cost effective solutions.
By working together everybody learns and there’s a higher likelihood that smart, informed decisions are made.”