A green revolution
Electrification and cost reduction in the maritime sector was debated during event organized by Innovation Norway on February 14, 2017.
The seminar took place in Copacabana and attracted more than 50 participants. The event was organized in cooperation with NCE Maritime CleanTech, and also had the institutional support of the Norwegian Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro and of Abran, the Brazilian wing of the Norwegian Shipowners´Association.
Several green maritime initiatives have been launched the last couple of years in Norwayand around the world, and many are showing positive results. The intention of the seminar was to give the participants a taste of developments that Brazilian stakeholders might find particularly interesting.
The need for reducing CO2 emissions is the main drive, and this was something Consul General Sissel Hodne Steen mentioned in her opening remarks.
«Environmental friendly shipping is a priority to Norway. We are a country living on, in and below the ocean. Research on alternative fuels and energy efficiency measures is supported by the Norwegian Government. We believe in collaboration and Brazil and Norway already have collaboration within the area of mitigation climate change», she said.
According to Erik Ianssen, the CEO of Selfa Arctic, a green revolution is now underway in Norway. The last 24 months several electric vessels has been delivered, and another 50 battery electric ferries are to be built.
«These are vessels for passenger transport, for the fishing industry, fish farming, cruise liners. We see a complete technology shift in the ferry sector, and in Norway this is becoming big business because of the fuel cost reduction. Other advantages are no noise, no vibration, no fumes, no particles and very little heat. There is no doubt that the change to the new disruptive technology will take place in Brazil as well. The only question is who will do it and when it will happen», Mr. Ianssen said.
Hege Økland represents the cluster NCE Maritime CleanTech in Norway, and she talked about how Norwegian stakeholders are pursuing the development of green maritime solutions by cluster collaboration.
«We are a regional cluster with 65 partners within clean tech. Our main goal is to strengthen the competitiveness of our partners by developing and launching innovative solutions for energy-efficient and clean maritime activities. We have battery suppliers and hydropower companies, all closely integrated in projects. Cluster collaboration is all about bridging the companies together across sectors», she said.
Electrifying vessels, charging technologies and battery improvements are all focus areas to the partners of the cluster.
Mrs. Økland also outlined the Norwegian cluster policies and practices intended to enhance sustainable innovation and internationalization of Norwegian companies.
She presented an example to the seminar, the car ferry «Ampère» that won the «Ship of the Year» award recently: Ampère is the first electric ferry in the world, with a 1 MW battery and an aluminum hull.
«Low weight means lower energy consumption, 60 percent reduction in fuel costs in this case. Ampère is a good business case, that received attention worldwide», Mrs. Økland said.
Frode Skaar, Director of Sales and Business Development of Westcon Power & Automation, was invited to share his insights on hybridification of offshore vessels to the seminar.
Westcon delivered the first battery hybrid system on the DP offshore vessel «MV Viking Energy», and Mr. Skaar talked about the challenges and risks the company faced in the process.
The Brazilian perspective was presented by Luis de Mattos, president of Sobena, the Brazilian Society of Marine Engineering. He presented different projects, like a boat that transports school children in Pará, driven by solar energy, and an ocean waves energy plant in Pecém, Ceará, the first plant in Latin America that extracts energy from ocean waves. It is however still a pilot plant.
Another pilot, still in the design phase, an offshore wave energy plant will be installed offshore Rio de Janeiro, according to Mattos.
The dual fuel ferry boat «Ivete Sangalo» run on 70 percent natural gas, with the capacity to carry 74 vehicles and 640 passengers. The emissions reduction is 50 percent, although the vessel is actually not run on natural gas currently.
«This is what is going on, and there are a lot of opportunities. We are ready to take the next step», Mr. Mattos said.
Martin Nietz, Advisor at Export Credit Norway (ECN) talked about the opportunities for financing for buyers of Norwegian equipment in his presentation. Brazil is an important market for ECN.
«Export Credit Norway offers stable and long turn financing at competitive rates to projects where Norwegian content accounts for at least 30 percent of the contract amount. Retrofit projects is also something that ECN could finance», Mr. Nietz said
In the introductory session of the event, FGV researcher Fernanda Delgado gave an overview of the Brazilian energy market. She talked about the Brazilian energy grid and how it is largely based on renewable energy sources. 62 percent of the electricity in Brazil comes from hydropower and there is still a huge potential to explore. Fernanda Delgado also talked about ethanol, produced from sugar cane, a Brazilian success story, a nationwide program launched after the first oil crisis in the 70-s. Almost 20 percent of the Brazilian fuel mix today is ethanol or biodiesel.
A common denominator is the huge potential for further exploring these markets, both hydro and bio fuels.
«There is a need for more renewable fuels in the global fuel matrix», Fernanda Delgado said.
Lieutenant Adriana Pina, representing the Directorate of Ports and Coasts gave an overview of the Brazilian maritime sector, laws, standards and regulations in place. She explained the different responsibilities of the Directorate and how the Brazilian Navy operate.
«Brazil has always supported and enforced IMO international regulations and new alternative energy technologies intended to reduce cost and pollution caused by ships will be welcomed by Brazilian Maritime authorities», Lieutenant Pina said.
A panel discussion moderated by Mr. Ricardo Cesar Fernandes, Executive Director of Abran, ended the seminar.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist
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