Ulstein has unveiled a new 149m Replenishment, Research and Rescue (3R) vessel design, known as Ulstein Thor, which will feature a Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) to generate vast amounts of clean, safe electricity. This will enable the vessel to operate as a mobile power/charging station for a new breed of battery driven cruise ships.
The new concept will be known as ‘Thor’ and is expected to demonstrate how zero-emission cruise operations can be made a reality.
To demonstrate its feasibility, Ulstein has also developed the Ulstein Sif concept, a 100m long, 160 POB capacity, zero-emission expedition cruise ship. This Ice Class 1C vessel will run on batteries, utilising ‘Thor’ to recharge while at sea.
“We have the goals, ambition and environmental imperative to switch to zero-emission operations, but, until now, we haven’t had the solution,” said CEO Cathrine Kristiseter Marti, Ulstein. “We believe ‘Thor’ might be the answer we’ve been looking for. ‘Thor’ is essentially a floating, multi-purpose ‘power station’ that will enable a new battery revolution.”
“Expedition cruise ships operate in increasingly remote, and environmentally fragile, areas. At the same time, the industry faces growing pressure from diverse stakeholders to preserve nature as it is and ban the environmental impact of cruising. ‘Thor’ enables replenishment of energy and supplies on site, while also boasting the technology to facilitate rescue operations, as well as conducting research tasks. It is, in effect, a crucial piece of infrastructure to support sustainable and safer operations. ‘Thor’ literally has the power to change our entire industry,” explained Marti.
Read more about the concept here.