“Challenges accompanying hybrid vessels deter customers from inking contracts”

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However, working away quietly in the wings with their own concept is Sølvtrans.

“I have faith in this concept, without going into the finer details,” wellboat shipping company Sølvtrans’ Managing Director Roger Halsebakk told SalmonBusiness.

Cutting back emissions
Monday it was reported that Rostein plans to build a hybrid wellboat with a price tag of between EUR 35-40 million.

In February Norwegian salmon farmer Nordlaks announced that they had contracted a hybrid wellboat that is capable of reducing CO₂ and NOx emissions by 30 and 90 percent respectively.

Few funding arrangements
Halsebakk informed SalmonBusiness that they are working on a hybrid concept, but declined to provide further details.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time. The challenge with gas, batteries and similar solutions previously is that there have been few funding support arrangements. But I understand this situation has improved lately”.

Who will be first?
“Sølvtrans hasn’t – as yet – anyone in the market to be part of the venture, who can provide some of the funding for this major investment. That’s the reason why we haven’t progressed any further,” he said.

Rostein’s Deputy Managing Director, Glen Bradley, told SalmonBusiness that Rostein and Nordlaks will be battling it out to see who is first out with a hybrid wellboat.

However, several Norwegian ferries such as “Folgefonn”» have had battery packs installed for hybrid operation. It’s eighteen months since SalMar launched its first electric-powered vessel, the “Elfrida”, which has had its share of problems.

Challenges
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Halsebakk.

“That’s the bugbear with this. We’ve found that customers are unwilling to ink contracts on this type of vessel due to the accompanying challenges. There are risks with operation that they cannot afford to take. The fish have to be transported on schedule, because they have already been sold prior to setting sail,” he said, but added that what they will be offering is “a combination solution – and not exclusively one with battery packs.”