Norwegian shipping firm Fjord Line said it would convert its LNG-powered vessels to be able to use marine gas oil or MGO due to high prices of liquefied natural gas.
The company’s ferries have single LNG engines and include Stavangerfjord, which began operating in 2013 and sister ship, Bergensfjord, which started operations in 2014.
“The conversion means that the ships will be able to switch between LNG and MGO as fuel, so that we ensure economically sustainable operation also in the period until LNG prices normalize,” Fjord Line said in a statement.
According to Fjord Line, Norway’s Fosen Yard would be responsible for the dual-fuel conversion work which includes new engines from Wartsila.
Work on Stavangerfjord would start in January 2023 with targeted completion by the end of May 2023 while Fjord Line expects work on Bergensfjord to be completed between February to mid-June 2023.
The rebuilding plan means that the company would not be able to maintain a regular offer on the routes Hirtshals-Stavanger-Bergen and Hirtshals-Langesund in winter/spring 2023.
“We deeply apologize to all affected customers,” the company said.
Despite the surge in LNG fuel prices, orders for LNG-powered vessels kept growing this year.
Earlier this month, classification society DNV said that owners had placed orders for 203 LNG-powered vessels this year.
LNG-powered container vessels and car carriers constituted nearly two thirds of the orders during this year.