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First LNG ropax built in China scoops Shippax award

Thu 14 Mar 2019 by Rebecca Moore

First LNG ropax built in China scoops Shippax award
Visborg was built by GSI shipyard, designed by OSK ShipTech, with interior design by Steen Friis Design

Rederi AB Gotland’s Visborg has scooped the Shippax technology and design award 2019. The largest LNG-powered ferry in domestic service, it is also the first LNG powered ropax built in a Chinese yard.

It is an evolution of earlier vessels built in the same yard for the operator, but is far more complex with new features including safe return to port. Furthermore, the ship reached 31 knots in trials, a top speed ranking for an LNG-powered conventional ropax vessel.

It uses 7% less propulsion power than other vessels in the fleet but its gross tonnage increased by almost 9%. It was built by GSI shipyard and designed by OSK ShipTech, with Steen Friis Design, part of OSK Group, carrying out the interior design.

“Being the most powerful of its kind, Visborg marks a new era for the Scandinavian-Asian collaboration between us as designers, owners Rederi AB Gotland, and builders GSI,” said OSK Group chief technical officer Kristian Lind. “I am immensely proud of the technical design team who has ensured a significant reduction on fuel consumption as well as CO2, NOx and SOx emissions.”

The ferry concept award went to Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats. It is the first European ropax equipped with scrubber technology. Two multi inlet hybrid scrubbers are positioned in the funnel casing.  Shippax editor-in-chief and lead conference moderator Philippe Holthof explained that flexibility was key as the ferry is designed to serve short and long routes. The separation of cars and commercial vehicles improves safety on the vehicle decks, while the car deck underneath accommodation decks provide easy access. Builders and designers were Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, OSK-ShipTech, and Steen Friis Design.

The environmental innovation award went to Fjord1’s Gloppefjord, built by Tersan shipyard and designed by Multi Maritime. It represents a “new generation of Norwegian electric ferries” with its batteries charged by locally sourced hydro electric power. There are automatic charging stations at both terminals, and it is the first ferry to use Rolls-Royce’s auto crossing control software.

The environmental stewardship award went to ForSea’s (formerly HH-Ferries) ferries that were converted to full electric power. Tycho Brahe and Aurora were converted from conventional diesel engine operations to battery power at Öresund Dry Docks.

They operate on a 4-km route between Sweden and Denmark, the first international route served by fully electric ferries. Batteries with transformers are stowed in four containers on the top deck and have reduced emissions by 65%.

BC Ferries’ Spirit of British Columbia won the retrofit award for its conversion to LNG dual fuel. TT-Line won the conversion award.

The cruise ship design and architecture award was won by Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge and the cruise innovation award for its LNG dual-fuelled AIDANova.

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