LNG-electric cargo ship with unexpected innovations

A new LNG-electric cargo ship will use pioneering methods to cut CO₂ emissions by 20 per cent and NOₓ emissions by 95 per cent.

If the global shipping industry were a country, it would make the list of top 10 polluters in the world. Carbon emissions from shipping have long been comparable to countries like Japan, Germany and the UK.

At the same time, the vast majority of global goods are transported by sea – and the need for shipping is unlikely to decrease. That is why it is so important to find new and innovative methods for reducing emissions from cargo ships.

Cranes and freezers save energy

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, has long been seen as a lower-carbon alternative to fuel oil. LNG releases less CO₂ and NOₓ than other fossil fuels, although its methane emissions are higher.

Building on innovations in LNG-powered vessels, Egil Ulvan Rederi is planning to build a brand-new type of LNG-electric cargo ship, using cranes and freezer rooms to lower emissions.

The ship, Kristian With, will have an on-deck crane with a capacity of 120 metric tons. The crane’s control brake system will convert its kinetic energy into electric power using a dynamo. This is the same system electric cars and trains use to regenerate energy when braking.

The ship’s LNG tanks, meanwhile, will always be kept at -150 °C and will be used to keep the ship’s freezer room cool, saving 50 kW/h.

Concrete benefits

Using battery power to supplement its LNG engines, the cargo ship could reduce CO₂ emissions by 20 per cent and NOₓ emissions by 95 per cent. While in dock, it will be able to run for three to four hours on battery power alone.

The ship is intended to run at 15 knots on a 14-day return journey along a lengthy stretch of the Norwegian coastline, from Fredrikstad in the far south-east to Tromsø north of the Arctic circle.

Market potential

Egil Ulvan Rederi is working to have Kristian With enter service in 2020, joining a growing fleet of LNG-powered cargo ships. Since the world’s first LNG cargo ship was launched in Norway in 2012, the LNG fleet in-service and on-order now consists of over 200 ships.

LNG is a stepping stone towards low-carbon transportation. However, if LNG ships are to comply with long-term greenhouse gas standards, they will have to incorporate hybrid technology and other innovations like those to be used on Kristian With.

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Egil Ulvan Rederi AS

Fjordgata 50, NO- 7010 Trondheim, Norway

+47 73 88 40 70

At a glance

  • LNG-electric hybrid cargo ship

  • Will use innovative methods for reducing energy consumption

  • Will cut carbon and nitrogen emissions

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals