Gas Fueled Engines for Coastal Ferries

Monday, August 21, 2006
The first ship sets of Bergen gas engine powered generator sets have now been delivered for ferries fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The KVGS-12G4 gensets form part of the order for power plant for a series of five double ended ferries which will provide vital links in the main road system on the west coast of Norway.

The choice of LNG as fuel for these ferries was driven by two main considerations: reducing exhaust emissions of CO2 and NOx and creating a base load demand for LNG around which a broader local land gas distribution network can be built up.

Five vessels are under construction. Three of them will operate on the Halhjem/Sandvikvåg route connection south of Bergen and these will be powered for a 21 knot service speed. The other two will operate on the Arsvåg/Mortavika route north of Stavanger and here a 17 knot service speed is needed.

In developing the new vessels the designer, LMG Marin, has worked closely with the operator, Fjord1, to provide safe and efficient vessels. The design challenge was to combine a high service speed with a double ended hull design which also has to fit the standard Norwegian Road Administration shore vehicle ramps.

They are the first series production LNG fuelled passenger vessels in the world and they will also break new ground in passenger vessels by having the gas engines below the main deck. In addition to designing the vessels, LMG Marin also carried out the risk analysis with a special focus on gas hazards in passenger vessels. The conclusion is that the safety levels on board will be equal to or even higher than those of traditional diesel powered ferries operating on the Norwegian coast at present.

The three faster vessels will each have a total of 12,370kW of engine power provided by two 16 cylinder Bergen gas engines and two 12 cylinder units. The other two ferries have a much lower power requirement, which will be met by two of the KVGS-12G4 units each producing 2,650kW.

Gas fuelled Bergen generator sets of this type are widely used for shore power generation with well over 10 million operating hours of experience


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