Swedish funding to support electrification of LNG/LBG vessels

Swedish funding to support electrification of LNG/LBG vessels
Image source: Helios Nordic Energy

Helios Nordic Energy together with partners Gotland Tech Development, METS Technology and ABB, has been granted financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency via the Energy Pilot Gotland programme to investigate how Destination Gotland’s two LNG/LBG vessels could receive increased electrification.

The project will aim to decrease the ferries’ carbon emissions by 10 per cent through the electrification of support systems and use of solar energy.

Funding was applied for in August this year and the project has now been approved. The project will kick off immediately and work until the end of 2022 to analyse how the support systems on the LNG/LBG ferries that operate the Visby ferry route can be electrified.

The onboard ferry generators could be replaced by rechargeable batteries, thereby turning the ships into plug-in hybrids. The increased penetration of electric cars will also require charging during transit. This requires additional battery capacity and will also be included in the study.

“Electrifying large fast ships is a great challenge in itself due to the very large capacity requirements. But in this case, we are also dealing with the heavily constrained grid on Gotland. We’re now putting all hands on deck to assist Gotland Tech Development to see how our utility scale solar parks and batteries combined can loosen the biggest knots on the transmission lines and contribute in the best way possible, said Helios’ project manager Magnus Rahm.

“An important step towards both fossil- and emission-free maritime transport is to start electrifying parts of the existing ferries’ energy systems. We are therefore incredibly pleased that we have now, together with our partners, been supported by the Swedish Energy Agency for this important project,” said Christer Bruzelius, project manager at Gotland Tech Development.

Helios’ role in the project will be to investigate where battery storage facilities are best located. Helios will also work on sizing of the systems, how they are controlled, and how to maximise investment synergy effects with solar farms under development. The ship traffic increases drastically during the summer when solar parks produce significant amounts of electricity.