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Ursula Lang |

Green solution for shipbuilding - Siemens technology for electric ferries in Norway



Flakk, Rørvik/Norway. There are around 180 ferries operating around Norway’s coast. Siemens is developing and supplying a complete solution of the electric propulsion power and control technology including batteries to be used in two new vessels for the ferry operator Fosen Namsos Sjø AS, which will be traversing the route between Flakk and Rørvik. By using ferries with pure electric or hybrid propulsion, Norway is taking a major step towards achieving the Norwegian government’s declared goal of reducing the country’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40 percent.


Norway is considered the world over as a leader in the generation and use of renewable energy. The country generates 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind power. Therefore, it is not surprising that Norway also increasingly relies on electric propulsion for its ferries. Siemens was the supplier of the electric propulsion technology for the world’s first fully electric car ferry, the MF Ampere. In a follow-up order, Siemens will equip four car ferries with hybrid drive. Two of them will be delivered to Fosen Namsos Sjø AS and will work the 7.2-kilometer route between Flakk and Rørvik on Norway’s west coast. The two car ferries each have loading capacity for 130 cars, and space for 390 passengers. They are due to go into service in 2019.


Proven technology

For both the new ferries, Siemens will be deploying its proven BlueDrive PlusC technology. The electric power and propulsion solution includes the remote connection and monitoring support system EcoMain, remote control system, energy management system, as well as the electric motor, switchgear and generators. The integrated control and automation system is for ferries and the shore based charging stations, where the ferries and shore are to be monitored and controlled with a WiFi solution. Use of the ship management system EcoMain allows ship operations to be optimized, also using remote access. The EcoMain gathers data relating to the ship’s technical systems through different interfaces on board, processes it in a standard format and makes it available on a common data platform. Energy consumption, emissions, bunkering fluids, service schedules, documentation and information management are just some of the processes that can be analyzed and used to optimize fuel efficiency, environmental compatibility and maintenance cycles. The BlueDrive PlusC technology used was developed in Trondheim in Norway, and is based on solutions developed for use in offshore vessels and specialized commercial vessels. This means that the systems have been successfully tested and proven under the harshest of conditions. At the heart of the BlueDrive PlusC electric propulsion system is the power electronic technology which allows the ferries to operate on pure battery operation or together with diesel- or gas engines at fixed speed or variable speed. This allows the diesel motors to supply their maximum power at any load-dependent number of revolutions per minute. The BlueDrive PlusC propulsion system also uses an Integrated Drive System (IDS) in which the motors and frequency converters are coordinated to ensure more economical and efficient ship operation.



Up to 100 percent “clean”

The new ferries may claim impressive green credentials for two reasons:

Firstly, emissions, vibrations and noise are completely eliminated during the pure electrical mode, which means that the drive saves the environment. Furthermore, the electricity they use is climate-neutral due to the fact that Norway generates 100 percent of its electric power from renewable energy sources. This means that no greenhouse gases are created in the generation of electrical energy. With this positive eco balance, the new ferries are making a significant contribution towards achieving the Norwegian Government’s pledge to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) by 40 percent.


There are around 180 ferries operating around Norway’s coastline. From 2019, a further four hybrid electric ferries equipped with Siemens technology will be added to the fleet, taking Norway a good step further towards achieving its government’s pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent.

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