Powered by dead fish

Organic waste will soon be used to power Hurtigruten’s green cruise ships


Photo: Tomasz Furmanex / Hurtigruten
MS Nordlys will upgrade to biogas.

Holly Winter

Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, is powering some of its ships with liquefied biogas (LBG)—fossil-free, renewable gas produced from dead fish and other organic waste.

“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,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Renewable biogas is a clean source of energy, considered the eco-friendliest 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.

“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,” Skjeldam says.

There are more than 300 cruise ships in the world, many of them running on cheap and polluting heavy fuel oil. The daily emissions from one single mega cruise ship can be equivalent to one million cars.

Hurtigruten expects to invest more than $850 million in building the world’s greenest cruise line. “Sustainability will be a key driver for the new era of shipping and the travel industry. Hurtigruten’s unmatched investments in green technology and innovation set a new standard for the whole industry to follow. Our ultimate goal is to operate our ships completely emission-free,” Skjeldam says.

This article originally appeared in the November 30, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Norwegian American Logo

The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.