Rolls-Royce has partnered with Color Line, Norled and the Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company to conduct research that will investigate the possible development of a zero-emission ferry.

The project is named ‘Zero Emission Ferry’ and will see the development of a new electrical system to provide more efficient power output and increased operational stability at an affordable cost.

Shipowners are expected to benefit from the technology, which will have a lower environmental impact and can be integrated more easily than existing systems.

"Norway is far out in front with regard to green shipping and we see an international export potential for these kinds of systems."

The four partners will also investigate new ways of combining systems for energy storage, energy management, on-board energy distribution and recharging as part of the initiative.

Work on the project has already begun through a Nkr5.9m ($715,989) finance package, which was provided via the Research Council of Norway’s ENERGIX programme.

Rolls-Royce Marine Product Electric and Power general manager Sigurd Øvrebø said: “The aim is for the entire system, or its component parts, to be capable of use on both short-haul car ferries and big cruise ferries.

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“Norway is far out in front with regard to green shipping and we see an international export potential for these kinds of systems.”

Rolls-Royce’s Marine division has agreed to provide technology, financial support and man-power in support of the ‘Zero Emission Ferry’ project.

Norwegian shipping company Norled intends to reduce emissions from its fleet of car and high-speed passenger ferries under the project, as well as become the first operator in the country to conduct 100% emission-free operations.

In addition, Norway-based cruise ferry operator Color Line aims to meet its environmental strategy, including the electrification of its vessel fleet, with the new technology.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company seeks to strengthen its environmental strategy as a result of the collaboration.