NSK Shipping AS, a coastal vessel operator based in northern Norway, has recently placed an order for a state-of-the-art LNG-fuelled multi purpose vessel at the Turkish shipyard, Tersan. The vessel, designed by Nordnorsk Skipskonsult AS, will be classed to DNV.

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Biomar NSK LNG coaster

Scheduled for delivery in 2012, the general cargo vessel will enter into a long-term charter agreement with BioMar, a leading regional supplier of fish feed for the aquaculture industry. According to DNV’s Harstad, Norway Station Manager, Jan Oddvar Olsen, NSK and BioMar’s shared focus on improving environmental performance was a key driver to the decision to build an LNG-powered multi purpose vessel.

“The cooperation between owner and charterer in this project is a clear signal that LNG-fuelled marine transportation is increasingly seen as a viable, long-term solution to help reduce emissions,” he says. “By making use of technologies and expertise available in Norway, NSK can meet the demands of the charterer while reducing the vessel’s environmental impact on Norway’s pristine coastline.” Olsen adds that the project has received support from Norway’s Næringslivets NOx-fond, a state sponsored organisation promoting emissions reductions.

The designer of the vessel, Nordnorsk Skipskonsult worked closely with DNV on design specifications. Roald Vårheim, DNV’s head of ships and offshore structures in the Approval Center Norway, says that DNV’s early involvement in the project allowed Nordnorsk Skipskonsult to manage the project efficiently. “DNV moved quickly to provide support on technical issues and compliance to streamline the approvals process,” he says.

Tor E. Svensen, the President of DNV welcomes the project. “LNG is here to stay, and short sea shipping has been the most obvious place to start,” he says, noting that ECAs have already been established in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, and will be soon enforced along the North American coastlines. “We have seen that LNG represents no technical obstacles and is more cost-effective than alternatives. Action taken by companies like NSK Shipping AS demonstrates that LNG-fuelled marine transportation is no longer an interesting concept, but an economically positive reality.”