Towards zero emission for fast passenger ferry

Color Line is a leading shipping company within European short sea shipping and has today a fleet of 7 ships. The company wish to be a frontrunner by introducing new and climate-friendly technology onboard their ships and in their ports of call. The company’s overall environmental strategy shapes the companies long term investments with a vision to reach zero emission to air and water. As an example, Color Line utilize shore power for all their ships when at harbour in their Norwegian ports in Oslo, Larvik, Sandefjord and Kristiansand.

In August 2019, Color Line put into service the world biggest plug-in hybrid ship, Color Hybrid, in operation between Sandefjord and Strømstad. M/S SuperSpeed 1 is in traffic between Kristiansand and Hirtshals. The vessel was built in 2008 and upgraded and modernized in 2011. In total the ship can carry 2400 persons and 750 cars with a transit time of 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Goal of pilot project

Color Lines vision is to offer their customers a zero emission transit between Norway and Denmark. The goal of the pilot study is to conduct a techno-economic screening of relevant fuel technologies and then carry out a more in-depth analysis of the most promising and relevant technologies.


November 2021

The pilot started in November 2021. The vessels technical specifications, the energy requirements under different operational conditions, and the different limitations the pilot work need to consider, have been defined. Furthermore, a list of potential fuel technologies and solutions has been identified, which the various partners continue to work on. The plan is to carry out the initial screening within end of May 2022.

March 2022

The screening process will soon be completed, and it is planned to move ahead with 2 technologies and to study these in more detail. The pilot closure date is December 2022.

September 2022

The screening process is carried out. Detail studies for two potential alternative battery-hybrid and green methanol-hybrid options are ongoing. The fuel price and the maturity/safety of the selected technology will be critical factors for the selected fast passenger ferry to follow IMO’s expected reduced emission trajectories over the project period (2027-2043). The pilot’s biggest uncertainty factor is related to the development of the future energy price. This is difficult to predict in today’s unstable political and economic climate.

Final conclusion including concept recommendation will be communicated before the pilot is finalized at the end of March 2023. In addition to the GSP partners identified here, Fosen Design & Solutions is included as an associated member of the pilot.

January 2023

Current conclusion is that retrofit will be too expensive. Investment support is predictable, but operating support is crucial for the assessment basis. If the price gap for methanol and battery is not covered, conventional operation with blend-in of biofuels will be the winning concept. This will put a clear damper on the green shift. The pilot study is in its final phase. The results are ready to be presented at the partner meeting on March 15th. An external, open presentation of the pilot and its results will take place in May. Color Line as the pilot owner emphasizes that the company has learned a lot from the GSP pilots and that all participating partners have made many good contributions.

April 2023

The pilot is in the final phase. Results will be presented in a mini-seminar in May.

May 2023

The pilot is now completed. The results were presented at a mini-seminar. Final Report – Pilot Towards zero emission for fast passenger ferry.

Recordings are available here. The pilot and its conclusions are summarized in the report:

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