The MS Richard With, the first vessel in a three-ship series, has completed its first year back in service after a major retrofit at a shipyard in Norway. The retrofit included the installation of hybrid shaft generators, lithium-ion batteries, and new engines, resulting in a 23% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The second ship in the series, MS King Harald, has also undergone a similar retrofit and was put back into service in May. The third ship, MS Nordlys, is scheduled to be retrofitted in 2025.
Hurtigruten Coastal Express CEO, Hedda Felin, stated that the company has no plans to build any more fossil fuel ships for the Norwegian Coastal Express. Instead, they are focusing on retrofitting existing vessels with the latest technology, as it is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective compared to building new ships. The retrofit not only improves efficiency but also raises safety standards for the ships’ crews. Kongsberg Maritime’s Vice President of Sales Aftermarket Advanced Offerings, Geir Oscar Løseth, explained that a full retrofit can be done in four to five months, whereas building a new ship takes much longer.
Overall, the retrofit of the MS Richard With and MS King Harald has resulted in significant reductions in carbon emissions and improved efficiency. This approach aligns with Hurtigruten Coastal Express’ commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. By retrofitting existing vessels with the latest technology, the company is able to improve the performance and safety of its fleet without the need for new construction. With the successful completion of the first two retrofits, the company is now looking forward to completing the retrofit of the third ship in the series, MS Nordlys, in 2025.