Eidesvik and Aker BP join forces to develop low-emission vessels

Eidesvik and E&P company Aker BP have launched an ambitious joint technology project that aims to reduce emissions from existing supply vessels by at least 70 percent – “a very exciting and future-oriented project” in the words of Eidesvik CEO Jan Fredrik Meling.

Aker BP has together with strategic partners Eidesvik, Solstad Offshore and Simon Møkster Shipping decided to install batteries on three offshore supply vessels operating on long-term contracts with the company. One of the trio is Eidesvik’s platform supply vessel (PSV) ‘Viking Lady’. Eidesvik is also set to invest in a corresponding battery upgrade on its PSV ‘Viking Prince’, which is also currently working for Aker BP. When the “Viking Prince” upgrade is completed in 2022, 11 of Eidesvik’s 12 vessels now in operation will be equipped with hybrid battery technology.

Focus on emissions reduction on existing vessels

Eidesvik and Aker BP are now extending their ‘green’ collaboration further with the establishment of a new project named ‘Retrofit’ that will evaluate various additional solutions for converting existing supply vessels to low-emission units.

“Newbuildings are often presented as the only solution to making the shipping industry greener and more sustainable. However, at Eidesvik we’re equally focused on the great potential for significantly reducing emissions from the existing fleet. From a climate and sustainability perspective, recycling old ships and building new ones requires a lot of energy that could otherwise be saved, not to mention the huge investment needed for newbuildings. As a shipowner we believe we can achieve increasingly large emissions reductions as well as save capex by prolonging the lifetime of existing vessels with new green technologies,” says Meling.

Retrofit’s mission is to capture emission reductions of 70 percent or more on selected vessels, making them as climate and environmentally friendly as Eidesvik’s ‘Viking Energy’, which will be equipped with an ammonia fuel cell in 2024 as part of the European ShipFC project.

The Aker BP-owned supply vessels ‘NS Orla’ and ‘NS Frayja’, which are managed by Eidesvik, are potential candidates for the ‘green’ upgrades, in addition to others owned by Eidesvik .

“We are now working to map available new technologies from a cost-benefit perspective. This is a big task, with several alternatives already on the table. During the next 12 months we hope to have a good basis in place to make decisions on what low-emission solutions we take forward,” says Meling.

Impressive innovation journey

While many shipowners are just starting out on their ‘green transition’, Eidesvik can demonstrate a strong track record dating back to 2003 when it was the first offshore vessel owner to introduce the use of LNG, followed by fuel cells and batteries.

“Having Aker BP on board in the Retrofit project is a big vote of confidence in what we’ve been doing. For me it is a clear indication that they view us as a competent and innovative partner within low-emission technologies in this vessel segment,” Meling adds.