Feb 21, 2023 | Shipbuilding & ship repair news

The Port of Gothenburg’s inspection vessel ‘Hammen’, which has been in service since 1979, is to be converted to run on electrical power.

Replacement of the 20.3m vessel was considered, but the port authority felt this unnecessary, as the 43-year-old Hammen was still in good condition, and can now be expected to remain in the port’s service for many more years after the SEK 17.3m conversion.

David Falk, skipper and project manager of Hamnen, said: “The strength of M/S Hamnen is its versatility, and the fact that we’re always at hand when things happen. The vessel has many different duties, but essentially it’s there to represent the port authority and to make sure that the rules set out in the port regulations are observed. Hamnen is in really good condition, and there’s no other vessel that’s better suited to its assignment. By converting it rather than replacing it, we further reduce emissions, as the vessel will then not be taken into use by a new owner.”

At present, Hamnen operates for around 1,200 hours a year, consuming approximately 25,000 litres of diesel. This represents 67t of CO2 emissions, which is 15% of the Gothenburg Port Authority’s total emissions.

The vessel’s engine room will be undergoing a total transformation, with the existing diesel engine replaced by a totally new electric engine with an output of 250kW. A bank of batteries weighting 4-5t with 520 kWh will be installed, giving an endurance of at least 4h at 6 knots. These batteries can be supplemented by additional capacity in the future if required. In addition to conversion to electrical power, a new, purpose-built wheelhouse will be installed, and a number of measures will be taken to enhance the work environment and extend the useful life.

Falk continued: “In exceptional cases, special call-outs, unforeseen events or extreme weather conditions may require additional range, so we’re also installing an auxiliary diesel engine that runs on HVO. The vessel’s task is to be available in all contexts 24/7, so we need that flexibility. But the goal is to run on battery power for 90% of the time.”

Hamnen’s regular berth position in the Port of Gothenburg will be fitted with a 63A charger, which is sufficient for charging between regular assignments.

The ship will be taken to the Ö-varvet shipyard on the island of Öckerö in the Gothenburg archipelago during spring 2023, and will return to service in the autumn. While the vessel is laid up, Falk and the rest of the crew will be using a smaller replacement boat to perform inspection assignments.

For the Gothenburg Port Authority, the electrification of Hamnen is more than another step in the quest to achieve the port’s climate goal of a 70% reduction in port-related emissions from Vinga and over the whole Gothenburg area on the land side by 2030.

Viktor Allgurén, Head of Innovation, Gothenburg Port Authority, said: “As far as the Gothenburg Port Authority is concerned, we have high expectations of our partners both in and around the port and the decision-makers we collaborate with when it comes to climate change, and we need to have everyone on board if we’re going to meet our goals. If we’re going to be able to demand that others contribute to the transition, we must show in all ways that we’re setting an example in the transition. It’s a question of credibility.”

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