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Norled

Investments for an eco-friendly ferry sector

Norled AS: Norwegian Ferry & Express Boat Operator

In 2013, the Norwegian government issued a tender seeking zero-emission vessels for a ferry route that forms a part of the national road network. Norled delivered using a battery electric ferry solution in 2015. The Company is now also developing a hydrogen ferry.

Addressing UN Sustainable Development Goals

306,000 reduction in passenger car equivalent

in terms of annual emissions of hydrogen ferry compared to conventional ferry

800,000 litres of diesel

avoided by switching to electric ferry

45% energy consumption saving

per passenger kilometre by using hydrogen ferries

2030

Norway's targetted timeline to become carbon neutral

“Since we signed the contract with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to build and operate a completely new type of zero-emission ferry based on using hydrogen as fuel, the interest has been great from both home and abroad. In 2022, more than 70 Norwegian ferries will sail on battery and contribute significantly to climate and environmental emissions.”

Heidi Wolden, CEO

Norled AS (“Norled”) is a leading ferry and express boat operator in Norway. The company is in the process of converting its fleet from diesel to battery and hydrogen powered vessels.

CBRE Caledon Capital Management (“CBRE Caledon”) and CapMan Infra acquired 100% of the Company in July 2019. Financial support from both sponsors is facilitating implementation of the fuel transformation strategy. Norled is a frontrunner in technology and innovation and the strategy aligns the Company with government policy by owning and operating a fleet of environmentally friendly vessels.

Norled has commissioned the world’s first hybrid express boat and the first liquid hydrogen ferry by 2021.

Norled’s green shift will have an impact both in the ferry sector and beyond.

Situation

Norled is one of Norway’s largest ferry and express boat operators. The company operates ferry and express boat services from Oslofjord to Troms county with over 80 vessels. The Company is a pioneer in zero emissions technology for the ferry industry. In 2015, the company launched their first battery powered car ferry Ampere (ZeroCat) in collaboration with Siemens and the Norwegian Shipyard Fjellstrand. Battery-powered ferries have reduced operating costs in addition to lower emissions.

Norled continued exploring possibilities in zero emission technologies due to current limitations in power density and charging time for battery technology. With the ambitions to transform its entire fleet, the company saw the benefit of support from external investors to expand the green fuel strategy.

Action

In 2018, Norled began seeking investors that could help the company achieve its vision in reducing emissions. In July 2019, CBRE Caledon and CapMan Infra each acquired a 50% equity stake in Norled from the Norwegian shipping company, Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab (“DSD”).

In January 2019, Norled signed an agreement with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for development, construction and operation of another hydrogen-electric ferry where at least 50% of the energy came from hydrogen.

In March 2019, Norled created a hydrogen ferry design with ship designer LMG Marin and partner Westcon Power & Automation. Other partners in the project include Ballard Power Systems and Linde Engineering. The ferry in operation will connect the national road 13 between Hjelmeland – Skipavik – Nesvik in Rogaland from 2021 with a capacity up to 299 passengers and 80 cars.

Westcon Yard will construct the ferry and the key milestones for the company going forward are development of hydrogen infrastructure supporting the operations.

Financing Model: Consortium

In July 2019, 100% of DSD’s ownership interest in Norled AS was transferred to the 50/50 consortium of CBRE Caledon and CapMan Infra.

Benefits to the environment

Norled’s electric and hydrogen vessel programs are in alignment with the Norwegian Government’s net zero targets and the country’s potential for zero emissions transport.

Switching from a conventional ferry to an electric ferry avoids 800,000 litres of diesel consumption every year.

Switching from a conventional ferry to a hydrogen ferry avoids 2154 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum while reducing 45% of baseline energy consumption per passenger kilometre, as well as 100% of sulphur and nitrous emissions.

Innovation & Infrastructure

  • Norled’s electric and hydrogen ferry programs were among the earliest successful responses to the Norwegian government’s tenders to develop an ecosystem for zero carbon ferry and expressboats in the industry. CBRE Caledon and CapMan Infra’s investment in Norled provided the support for developing and improving the technology.
  • As of October 2019, there is no production or bunker station in Norway for hydrogen. In the long-term, Norled expects development of hydrogen production, transport and bunkering within Norway. Norled, NCE Maritime Cleantech, NORCE, NorSea Group, Viking Cruises and Wilhelmsen are participating in a new initiative for developing a liquid hydrogen supply chain in Norway for maritime applications. The initiative is being led by BKK, Equinor and Air Liquide, and it has been awarded a grant of NOK 33.5 million from the Norwegian Government’s PILOT-E incubation scheme.