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Rolls-Royce has won a deal to provide environmentally sustainable hybrid technology for two new expedition ships, to be operated by Norwegian explorer cruise line, Hurtigruten.

As part of the deal, Rolls-Royce will also provide automation and control systems, azipull propellers, two large tunnel thrusters, stabilisers, four Bergen B33:45 engines, as well as winches and power electric systems.

To be designed by Rolls-Royce, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen will be constructed in Norway’s Kleven Yard.

"The future of shipping is, without a doubt, silent and emission free."

During the first phase of the delivery, an auxiliary battery power system will be provided, while the second and final phase of the delivery includes larger batteries.

The auxiliary battery power system, to be delivered in the first phase, will help the ships to reduce fuel consumption related to ‘peak shaving’, and will be installed on the first polar cruise that is slated to be delivered by 2018.

The larger batteries, planned to be installed on the second ship, scheduled for delivery by 2019, will enable fully electric sailing across longer distances and over longer periods of time.

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By GlobalData

Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten, said: “The future of shipping is, without a doubt, silent and emission free.

“We will use our new expeditionary ships as groundbreakers for this new technology and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible, today.

“A passenger ship requires enormous amounts of energy to operate, and so far, there have been no technologies able to fulfil the requirements of a fully electric Hurtigruten ship. Hurtigruten’s new ships will probably be the first in the world.”

It is estimated that hybrid technology, when combined with the construction of the hull and effective use of electricity on board, will reduce fuel consumption by around 20% and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from ships by 20%.

Image: Rendering of Hurtigruten’s new polar cruise. Photo: courtesy of Rolls-Royce plc.