Medio ambiente

Norwegian programme tests green shipping concepts

Norwegian programme tests green shipping concepts

A group of Norwegian shipping companies has come together to work on five pilot projects that are intended to improve the environmental performance of shipping that operates close to shore, such as ferries or short-distance freight. The main aim of the scheme, known as the Green Coastal Shipping Programme, is to look at cleaner energy sources, and to thus contribute to making Norway’s coastal shipping fleet the world’s most environmentally efficient.

The Green Coastal Shipping Programme is coordinated by DNV GL, an Oslo-headquartered certification organisation and technical consultancy that operates especially in the maritime and oil and gas sectors. The programme includes 31 partners, including shipping and energy companies and public authorities.

The five pilot projects will all examine the feasibility of technologies that could improve the environmental performance of shipping. The projects will develop technical concepts, carry out cost-benefit analyses and environmental-footprint assessments, and make plans for further deployment of the technologies. The initial developmental phases of the programme will take place over three years.

The pilot projects are:

  • Development of a hybrid cargo ferry that will be able to switch between liquid natural gas (LNG) and battery power;
  • Testing of technology that can recycle as a power source volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are produced by tankers during their operations at sea;
  • Development of a more efficient hybrid propulsion system for a vessel used in offshore fish farming;
  • Development of a hybrid LNG/battery system for small tankers that transport LNG;
  • Scoping of a “green port” concept that will make greater use of renewable energy and will achieve energy savings.

The programme was boosted in October by an environmental award from the Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2015. Richard Meade, editor of Lloyd’s List – the leading shipping publication – called the programme an “impressively ambitious example of environmental aspiration coupled with a pragmatic understanding of business.”

Although the programme is in its very early stages, the concept could be tried in other countries with long coastlines. The programme’s director Narve Mjøs was invited to speak to the Swedish parliament about a possible similar scheme in Sweden. Measures are needed to improve the energy efficiency of shipping, which generated 4% of the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 and is also responsible for emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide.

Further information about the Green Coastal Shipping Programme pilot projects is available at: