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Kvitbjørn in LNG First

Nor Lines’ 5,000 dwt short sea cargo vessel Kvitbjørn has made history by becoming the world’s first vessel to operate between Asia and Europe solely on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the ship’s bunker fuel, propelled by a Rolls-Royce pure-gas engine.

Kvitbjørn in LNG FirstThe ship sailed to Norway from Tsuji Heavy Industries shipyard in Jiangsu, China, via Singapore, and subsequently LNG bunkerings in Cochin, India and Cartagena, Spain.

This was the longest voyage ever undertaken by a vessel running solely on LNG and was completed in Bergen on March 29.

Tor Arne Borge, Nor Lines, CEO said: ”The success of the voyage from Asia to Europe on LNG not only confirms the energy-saving and emissions-reduction attributes of Rolls-Royce’s pure gas engine but provides evidence to owners of larger tonnage that LNG is not just for short sea coastal ships. The Environship concept with the Bergen engine has exceeded all our expectations.”

The Environship concept includes a Bergen engine powered by LNG, the Promas combined rudder and propeller, a hybrid shaft generator to optimise use of electrical power and an innovative wave-piercing hull design. The combined technologies reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40 per cent compared to similar diesel powered vessels, dependent on operational profile, Rolls Royce claims.

Oscar Kallerdahl, Rolls-Royce, Sales Manager- LNG Systems, said: ”The realisation of Kvitbjørn is a significant milestone in the shipping industry’s fundamental transition from diesel fuel to LNG. It is important to note that the Bergen B35:40 gas engine is not a dual-fuel engine. A pure gas engine and shaft generator driving a controllable pitch propeller is the most effective configuration for keeping emissions low and improving fuel consumption.”

Kvitbjørn is about to enter operation delivering cargo in ports between Hamburg, the Netherlands and the Norwegian mainland’s most Northern city, Hammerfest. Nor Lines expects to take delivery of sister ship Kvitnos in June.

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