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Strengthening Norway’s role as a clean shipping front-runner

Oslo: The Norwegian authorities have established ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2030, emissions should be reduced by 40% compared to the levels of 40 years earlier. Shipping – as a significant contributor to emissions – will likely be required to meet the same targets. To do so, the authorities and industry must work closely together.

Green Coastal Shipping programme director Narve Mjøs. Photo: DNV GL

Norway has been a global shipping power for a long time. Good relations between its cluster of ship-owners, yards, suppliers, class societies and authorities have been key to its success - a success that those involved intend to maintain and improve.

Although the COP21 agreement reached in Paris in November last year does not specifically name shipping, the Norwegian industry is prepared for the new reality.

Six months earlier – in the spring of 2015 – Norway’s Green Coastal Shipping Programme was established by private companies and organizations. No fewer than two Ministries representing the Norwegian Government were co-signatories.

Today, the programme has doubled its membership, from 18 to 35. All parts of the industry are represented, including eight observers from Norwegian authorities and academia. The programme is organized and headed by DNV GL.

DNV GL Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen says: “To achieve the targets set by the Norwegian authorities for 2030, we need to act fast. Although shipping is by far the most environmentally friendly means of transportation, we need to work hard and smart to reduce its emissions significantly.

"The new technology is available, but scaling and further development are needed. In a study recently carried out by DNV GL and submitted to the Ministry of Climate and Environment, we stress the need for fresh thinking. All new ships which are to operate along the Norwegian coast must use alternative fuel - heavy oil cannot be an option for the new ships prepared for short sea shipping. This is the only way we will be able to achieve those targets. By doing so, Norway will again set the direction for the shipping industry and continue to be a front-runner,” he adds.

The Green Coastal Shipping Programme has identified concrete examples to set this direction. Five pilots were initiated over the past few months. The projects include several different ship types and infrastructures, with an emphasis on alternative fuel concepts:

  •        CargoFerry, a plug-in hybrid, led by the shipping company Nor Lines

  •        A next-generation green shuttle tanker, led by the shipping company Teekay

  •        A hybrid ocean farming vessel, led by ABB & the Cargo Freighters’ Association

  •        The conversion of a cargo carrier into a battery-hybrid LNG carrier, led by NGA & Øytank Bunkerservice

  •        A pioneering green port project, led by Risavika Port

The pilots’ first phase of feasibility studies has been concluded. Each project will be followed up in the programme’s second phase. Through real projects, learning by doing and the full-scale testing of new technology, the aim is to fulfil our vision of Norway being a global leader when it comes to clean, advanced and efficient coastal shipping. Learn more here.

“I'm impressed by the open collaboration between those involved and by the power of the programme itself to achieve the goals and, through that, fulfil the vision. This is the strength of the Norwegian cluster. Norway's ship-owners and suppliers see green shipping as an opportunity rather than a threat,” says programme director Narve Mjøs, DNV GL. “I am convinced that the maritime industry will be able to contribute its share towards achieving Norway’s climate and environmental goals. However, the green shift requires investment from both the authorities and the industry, and the government must lead the way.”

The second phase of the programme will start this summer, with two main activities. One is to bring industry and policymakers together to define efficient incentives and mechanisms to bring about the necessary changes in the domestic fleet. For various measures, business economic and socioeconomic analyses will be performed and consensus on how to overcome barriers will be established.

The other is to follow up the pilot projects developed in phase 1 and lift a second batch of pilots, focusing on zero-emission solutions that include biofuels and hydrogen, as well as LNG and batteries for new segments. This will be a unique opportunity for companies to learn from others and to influence future regulatory, financial and procurement instruments and incentives.