Nor-Shipping has revealed the final shortlist for this year’s Next Generation Ship Award, with the winner to be announced on Monday 5 June at Oslo City Hall. The prestigious accolade, now in its tenth year, pits newbuilds, retrofits and conversions against one another, with the title going to the project trailblazing new industry standards for smart, sustainable maritime operations. Organisers say competition this year has been “intense”.
Award President Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO, DNV, spearheaded this year’s initiative with an expert international jury eventually deciding on a shortlist of three newbuilds and one retrofit.
They are: Misje Eco Bulk’s Misje Vita, built at Colombo Dockyard in Sri Lanka; Terntank’s Hybrid Tankers, currently under construction; Neoline’s Neoliner 136, now being built in Turkey by RMK Marine; and Mitsubishi Corporation’s Pyxis Ocean, which will be retrofitted with innovative wind assist technology under the CHEK project.
Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping, says this year’s entries spanned a “huge spectrum” of vessel types, demonstrating the “ambition of an entire industry targeting cleaner, greener and smarter ways to do business.”
Leading the way
Norvik comments: “From container ships, to bulk carriers, through to ro-ro vessels, ferries and specialist projects such as cable layers, the nominations this year showed how segment after segment is working hard, and innovating brilliantly, to meet sustainability goals. This made for some very tough competition, and lively debate, as entrants were whittled down to just four standout projects.
“The remaining projects could all be worthy winners in their own right and we applaud the owners’ determination to advance the transformation of maritime operations. These vessels are leading the way for the industry and we look forward to revealing which one eventually takes the title of the Nor-Shipping 2023 Next Generation Ship.”
Winds of change
The shortlisted vessels were assessed across the key criteria of energy efficiency, innovation, suitability and flexibility, technology utilisation, safety and security, and environmental sustainability. All types of ship were given equal consideration, regardless of size or segment. To qualify for the award, newbuilds had to be scheduled for delivery within three years of Nor-Shipping 2023, while retrofits and conversions must be undertaken after the original date of the last biennial event scheduled for 2021.
The mix of three newbuilds and one retrofit project is a repeat of the shortlist for the 2022 award, eventually won by Havila Voyages’ coastal cruise ferry Havila Capella. However, unlike 2022, three of the four vessels this year featured wind power, with one utilising it as its main power source.
The final four
Each of the competing entries is remarkable in its own right. Misje Vita is a 5,000dwt shortsea bulk carrier, owned by Norway’s Misje Rederi. The vessel has a hybrid propulsion system developed by the owner in co-operation with Wärtsilä, eliminating NOx and offering a 47% reduction in SOx and CO2. The 1,600kW main engine is complemented by a 1,000kW h battery system and shaft generator/motor, with a shore connection enabling emission free port calls.
Swedish operator Terntank’s Hybrid Tanker 15,000dwt newbuildings, now being built in China, will be capable of running on e-methanol where available, feature battery systems and will also boast a suction sail system that could reduce emissions by a further 8%. Mitsubishi Corporation’s 80,926dwt Kamsarmax bulk carrier Pyxis Ocean is the retrofit entry, with a new sail system for the 2017-built ship showcasing BAR Tech’s WindWings Technology. One of the two sails is being funded by the EU as part of the Horizon 2020 Project.
Finally, wind will be the main source of power for the fourth shortlisted candidate, Neoline’s Neoliner 136, which will have 3,000m2 of sail area. The ro-ro vessel, which can also carry containers, is the culmination of a more than a decade long project to build a transatlantic cargo liner powered by wind alone. French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique is supplying its SolidSail system. An MGO-fuelled auxiliary engine will also be fitted for port operations and electricity supply.
Excitement on the horizon
Nor-Shipping 2023 runs from 6-9 June in Lillestrøm and Oslo. In addition to the main exhibition and the Ocean Leadership Conference, a range of themed conferences include the first ever Nor-Shipping Offshore Wind and Offshore Aquaculture Conferences, the Second Maritime Hydrogen Conference, and the Fourth International Autonomy Summit.
Entrance tickets have now been released, with an early-bird discount available prior to 1 May. Included in the price is free use of public transport in Oslo (Zone 1) and between the Lillestrøm exhibition centre, entrance to all the exhibition days, access to the After Work @Aker Brygge social scene in Oslo, and entrance to all Technical Seminars and Blue Talks.