2017: World’s largest plug-in hybrid vessel awarded Next Generation Ship Award


At the opening ceremony of the Nor-Shipping exhibition, the ‘Color Hybrid’ plug-in hybrid vessel was announced the winner of the 'Next Generation Ship Award'. The vessel has been designed by Fosen Yard and is being constructed by Ulstein Verft for the ship owner Color Line.

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With a focus on innovation, the Award honours the most promising design for ships that will be at sea in the coming decade. The Award was handed out by H.R.H Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

- We are proud of being the winner to this prestigious Award, and it is very gratifying that the Norwegian shipbuilding industry has proven its competitiveness and that Color Line contributes to the further development of a greener Norwegian maritime industry,” says CEO Trond Kleivdal at Color Line.

- This is an important milestone for us, and we are looking forward to the next two years innovative process and cooperation with Color Line, states CEO Gunvor Ulstein at Ulstein Group.

“Color Hybrid” is a plug-in hybrid ship, where the batteries are recharged via a power cable with green electricity from shore facilities or recharged on board by the ship's generators.

"Color Line shall be at the forefront of the green transition of the maritime industry, and the natural environment is an accelerator to Color Line, whose company has installed shore power facilities in all their Norwegian ports", said Trond Kleivdal. The new vessel is planned to service Sandefjord-Strømstad from summer 2019, and the ship will have full battery power into and out of the fjord to Sandefjord.

There will be zero emissions of harmful greenhouse gases or nitrogen and sulphur compounds in this area. Noise reduction is an important added pro to this vessel. The exterior noise at low speed and while moored, measured at 100 m distance from the vessel, will be far less than the noise coming from a normal conversation.

According to the jury, this year’s winner demonstrates the innovation and ambition that are pushing the maritime industry forward to a greener, more profitable and more sustainable future.

The hybrid ferry will be 160 metres long and have a capacity of 2,000 passengers and about 500 cars.

‘Color Hybrid’ main features

  • Plug-in hybrid technology. Designed to be highly energy efficient and with low environmental impact.
  • Zero-emission for port operations possible, as a result of high-voltage shore connection (HVSC) in combination of battery hybrid propulsion system.
  • Battery package of about 5 MWh (mega-watt-hour) allows for up to 60 min manoeuvring and sailing at speeds of 0-12 knots.
  • Good WHR (Waste-heat-recovery) capabilities utilizing a heat – reservoir system.
  • Extremely low noise emittance both during battery operation and during overnight port stays.

The Next Generation Ship Award was handed out last time in 2015. The winner that year was Ulstein's design innovation, the

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