Norwegian ferry operator Color Line and shipbuilder Ulstein Verft have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the construction of what will reportedly become the largest hybrid vessel in the world, a 160-meter-long passenger ferry.
The Fosen-designed ferry will be a plug-in hybrid with batteries able to be recharged via a power cable with electricity from their own shore facilities or recharged on board by the ship's generators.
The new vessel (with the working name Color Hybrid) is planned to service Sandefjord-Strömstad from summer 2019 with almost double the capacity of existing vessel M/S Bohus, which is scheduled to be phased out when the new ferry enters service. With capacity for 2,000 passengers and about 500 cars, the ship will provide increased capacity on the route between Norway and Sweden.
The ship will have full battery power into and out of the fjord to Sandefjord, and will therefore not give emissions of harmful greenhouse gases or nitrogen and sulphur compounds in this area.
“The signing of the LOI represents a significant step to realize the world's largest plug-in hybrid ship. It is very gratifying that the Norwegian shipbuilding industry has proven its competitiveness internationally,” said Trond Kleivdal at Color Line.
Color Line has installed shore power facilities in Oslo, Larvik and Kristiansand. With shore power in Sandefjord installed, all Color Line Norwegian ports will have shore power facilities. “Our ambition is to be a leader in European short sea shipping and Color Hybrid is a new proof of this,” said Kleivdal.
Color Line is currently the only company in the international passenger and freight traffic to and from Norway with ships registered in the Norwegian Ship Register and with Norwegian headquarters. “The focus on a new vessel with new green technology happens partly because the company, through the government's maritime strategy, has received approximately identical conditions as their competitors in the Nordic region,” Kleivdal said.
“This is an important milestone for us, and we are very pleased that we have been chosen as partner in this very exciting project. We are looking forward to the further cooperation with Color Line,” said CEO Gunvor Ulstein at Ulstein Group. The vessel will be designed by Fosen.