Cruise operator to power ships with dead fish

Norwegian company Hurtigruten will use remains from fisheries instead of fuel oil

The world’s largest expedition cruise operator has decided to make a huge step towards green energy. Instead of fuel oil, the Norwegian company Hurtigruten will use fossil-free, renewable gas produced from dead fish and other organic waste to power their boats.

Norwefian cruise operator Hurtigruten will replace fuel oil with gas made of fish remains — BPfoto / Shutterstock Cruise operator to power ships with dead fish
Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten will replace fuel oil with gas made of fish remains — BPfoto / Shutterstock

The approach is a part of a series of environment-friendly measures the operator has implemented, which has brought it the title of the greenest cruise company in the world.

“While competitors are running on cheap and polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO), our ships will literally be powered by nature. Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.

The company considers renewable biogas as a clean source of energy, possibly the most eco-friendly fuel currently available. Biogas is already used as fuel in small parts of the transport sector, especially in buses.

Both Northern Europe and Norway, the latter of which has large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste, have a unique opportunity to become a world leader in biogas production.

“What others see as a problem, we see as a resource and a solution. By introducing biogas as fuel for cruise ships, Hurtigruten will be the first cruise company to power ships with fossil-free fuel,” Skjeldam said.

With large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste, Northern Europe can become a world leader in biogas production — Shutterstock
With large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste, Northern Europe could become a world leader in biogas production — Shutterstock

Hurtigruten takes its environmental impact very seriously. In July, the company became the world’s first cruise provider to ban single-use plastics. In 2019, the firm will introduce world’s first hybrid-electric powered cruise ship — MS Roald Amundsen — custom-built for sustainable operations in some of the world’s most pristine waters such as Antarctica.

“Hurtigruten has become a symbol of how to put responsibility into action. They have taken several important steps to improve their climate and environmental performance. Now they are introducing the use of renewables in the cruise industry and that gives us hope for a change of pace in finding sustainable solutions,” Frederic Hauge, founder and general manager of the NGO Bellona Foundation said.