Hurtigruten plans to convert ships that will also house large battery packs storing renewable energy © Stian Klo/Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten plans to convert ships that will also house large battery packs storing renewable energy © Stian Klo/Hurtigruten

Ships to be powered using dead fish

21 November 2018

Hurtigruten, a Norwegian cruise line, will power ships using biogas derived from waste fish parts.

The fish parts, a byproduct of the fishing industry, will be combined with other organic waste to create the biogas, which will be liquefied and used to power the ships.

The biogas is created by accelerating the decomposition process and harnessing the resulting methane emissions. It can be used in place of more traditional fossil fuels.

According to Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive of Hurtigruten, large fishery and forestry sectors provide the Nordic countries with a unique position in the biogas market due to access to large quantities of waste products.

He continued: “We are pushing for more innovation, more investment. I believe we have just seen the beginning of what in a few years will be a huge sector.”

As part of the green initiative, the ships will also house battery packs capable of storing large amounts of renewable energy, which is now possible due to advancements in battery technology.

As the expedition cruise line operates in the Arctic and Antarctic, both of which are highly sensitive to marine pollution and climate change, Hurtigruten aims to convert at least six of its 17 cruise ships to run on alternative fuels by 2021.

The company is also currently building three new hybrid-powered ships with the first expected to be delivered in 2019.

The shipping industry has recently come under scrutiny with many vessels using heavy fuel oil, a cheap but highly polluting fuel.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has imposed a deadline on shipping companies to lower the sulphur content of their fuels to 0.5% by 2020, while the most common shipping fuels currently contain 3.5%.

Earlier this year, Hurtigruten banned all unnecessary single-use plastics, furthering their green initiative.

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