“It is fantastic to see how many exciting projects are being developed, and the unique power of innovation that exists in the maritime community”, said the Expert Committee's leader, Lasse Kristoffersen.
In its work on this year's award, the committee has emphasized projects that bring the industry closer to the goal of "zero-emission solutions" for ships sailing longer distances.
“If we are to achieve the goal of a climate-neutral fleet by 2050, it is urgent that we find good solutions for carbon-neutral ships. With this year's award, we want to bring attention to those who are taking the lead, who are willing to take the risks that come with being first out of the gate. Perhaps the award can help give these projects an extra push across the finish line," Kristoffersen says.
The Heyerdahl Award was established by Thor Heyerdahl and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association in 1999 and is awarded to candidates from the maritime industry who contribute to improving the global environment. The prize will be presented to the winner by H.R.H Crown Prince Haakon at the Norwegian Shipowners' Association's annual conference on 18 March.
Twenty-two projects were nominated for this year's award. Thor Heyerdahl jr. represents the Heyerdahl family on the committee. He relates that selecting this year's finalists was a particularly difficult task.
"There were many good candidates to choose from, all in my father’s spirit and with care for the planet in mind, especially the vital ocean environment. As a marine scientist, I am very satisfied with the Expert Committee's decision, and as my father's son, I know that he would also have been," said Heyerdahl jr.
The three finalists are:
Wallenius Marine is nominated for “Oceanbird”, a new concept that makes it possible to harness the wind to power the largest ocean-going vessels. Car vessels within the concept will be 200 meters long and able to transport 7,000 automobiles.
HeidelbergCement and Felleskjøpet Agri are nominated for requisitioning the world's first zero-emission cargo ship and using their role as product owners to initiate the development of several different zero-emission solutions for larger ships with longer sailing distances.
Wilhelmsen is nominated for their hydrogen project Topeka, constructing one of the world's first zero emission hydrogen vessels. The Topeka ships will also transport liquid hydrogen, thus contributing to the development of infrastructure for new green fuel.
Members of this year’s Expert Committee are:
Lasse Kristoffersen (Committee Chair), CEO of Torvald Klaveness and Vice President of ICS
Thor Heyerdahl jr.
Kristin Halvorsen, Director, Cicero
Sigurd Enge, Technical Director Shipping, Bellona
Sissel Rogne, Director, The Institute of Marine Research
Sveinung Oftedal, Technical Director, Ministry of Climate and Environment
Claus Hemmingsen, Chairman, Maersk Drilling
Lisa Emilia Svensson, former UN Ocean Ambassador
Tuva Flagstad- Andersen, Regional Director Maritime, Northern Europe, DNV