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At the Nor-Shipping 2019 exhibition, the world’s largest hybrid vessel, M/S Color Hybrid, won the title of ‘Ship of the Year 2019’. The award for the environmentally friendly vessel signals a new era in shipping and sends a strong signal about the industry’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.
On August 16th, 2019, the passengers aboard M/S Color Hybrid could enjoy the maiden voyage of the world’s largest plug-in hybrid vessel without being disturbed by the noise and exhaust gas from diesel engines. The 160-meter RoPax ferry is powered by a 65-ton battery pack, enabling it to cruise at a speed of 12 knots in almost complete silence. A shore power system at the port of Sandefjord can charge the 4.7 MWh batteries in just one hour.
The passengers and crew can take pride in the fact that they are aboard a ship that is both environmentally friendly and award-winning. M/S Color Hybrid was appointed ‘Ship of the Year 2019’ June 4th at Nor-Shipping 2019 in Norway where HRH Crown Prince Haakon presented the award to Gunvor Ulstein, CEO of Ulstein Group, who have constructed the vessel.
Innovation is one of the main criteria in order to win ‘Ship of the Year’ and M/S Color Hybrid undeniably has plenty of innovative features. Besides the environmentally friendly propulsion, M/S Color Hybrid is equipped with an efficient heat recovery system and a waste management system that makes it possible to use the ship’s waste to produce heat and electricity in biomass power plants ashore.
These examples of innovation are recognized not only by the award jury, but also by the International Maritime Organization, IMO. The IMO has an ambitious strategy to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from ships.
– We must find innovative ways to meet the ambitions set out in the IMO Initial Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. It is clear that decarbonization is necessary to meet the goals set, so hybrid vessels and other ways to reduce GHG emissions are to be applauded, says Natasha Brown, spokesperson for IMO.
The IMO strategy envisages a reduction in carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008. Total annual GHG emissions from international shipping should be reduced by at least 50%. In addition, the IMO has already adopted mandatory energy efficiency measures for ships. Under the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) rules, new ships built since 2014 must be up to 30% more energy efficient by 2025, under the “phase 3” requirements.
Besides the EEDI for new builds, all ships must have a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), which requires the ship to look at what can be done to improve energy efficiency, such as improved voyage planning, cleaning the underwater parts of the ship and the propeller more often, and installing waste heat recovery systems or air lubrication systems.
– Achieving the goals of the IMO GHG Strategy will require a mix of technical, operational and innovative solutions applicable to ships. These range from alternative fuels, to optimisation of port arrival, hybrid propulsion, improved hull cleaning to avoid drag and more, says Natasha Brown.