North Sea Giant to become first large OSV with energy storage retrofit

Ship to be fitted with system that cuts bunker consumption, operating costs and emissions.

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Updated on 22 Dec 2017 10:15 GMT

Technology group Wartsila has agreed to retrofit the world's first energy storage solution on board a large offshore supply vessel (OSV).

The North Sea Giant, one of the world's largest and most advanced subsea construction vessels, will be fitted with an energy storage system that reduces the vessel's energy consumption, operating costs and exhaust emissions.

The retrofit energy storage system is designed to improve the operational efficiency and environmental footprint of the North Sea Giant, responding to key requirements of Norway's North Sea Shipping AS, the owner of the vessel.

Typically, a vessel with dynamic positioning uses two or more engines simultaneously to secure back-up power. This means that the engines' load run low. By using a hybrid/battery system to provide the needed back-up power, the operational engine can be used closer to its optimal load.

Commenting on the bunker-saving benefits of the installation, Hallvard Klepsvik, CEO of North Sea Shipping AS, said: "For us is it important to reduce environmental emissions and modernise the vessel to make it more competitive. In addition, with a more efficient vessel, we will save fuel expenses. The estimated reduction in emissions is 5.5 million kg CO2, 30 tons of NOx and 1,200 kg SOx per year. After Wartsila had retrofitted our ship Atlantic Guardian in 2014, we really understood how much fuel can be saved by improving the vessel's efficiency. Efficiency also saves time, because you only need to refuel every second or third port visit."

Cooperation with DNV GL

The North Sea Giant is a DP3 vessel. The ship is listed in the most advanced category of vessels that apply dynamic positioning. Installation of an energy storage solution into a class DP3 vessel has never been carried out before and requires a redefinition of applicable classification rules. Therefore Wartsila and North Sea Shipping AS are working in collaboration with classification society DNV GL.

"Wartsila has gained a high competence on hybrid projects on many different vessel types, and has a close relationship with the customers. For this reason, we are able to test new technology on many different types of vessels. We are the first in the world to work with hybrid systems on bigger vessels such as the DP3 classified North Sea Giant, and the project will set a new standard for this type of vessels," said Cato Espero, Director Sales Norway, Wartsila.

In addition to the hybrid/battery solution, the agreement includes transformers, filters, switchboard, shore connection equipment, upgrades of existing components and commissioning.