Norwegian Electric Systems Leads Global Market in Low and Medium Voltage Marine Equipment

Electric excellence

The demand for on-board hybrid and diesel-electric systems continues to grow due to their environmental friendliness and cost efficiency.

Norwegian Electric Systems (NES) is a leading producer and engineering company that has developed and delivered a portfolio of low and medium voltage equipment to end users throughout the world. The company’s engineers have been building electrical systems for over 35 years and delivering electrical solutions to more than 4000 vessels. NES’ solutions can be found on offshore supply vessels, ferries, fishing vessels, jack-up rigs and cruise vessels.

Research and development is an important part of NES’ business and it specialises in achieving solutions that competitors would find difficult. An example of this is the Hull No. 89 Project on-board the Volstad Management vessel Grand Canyon. Jan Berg, president and CEO of NES, discusses this project: “We were awarded the contract in 2011. It is the world’s largest low voltage electrical plant (690v, 60Hz) ever built onboard a vessel. It has a very special propulsion solution in the vessel. Instead of having two 5000kw motors for the two main propellers we have designed what we call a twin-in and single-out propulsion system: two 2500kw motors for each propeller, giving it a total of 10.000kW in main propulsion power. In addition, there are six side thrusters, each of 2.000kW.

“The generator plant itself is 23,000kVA and that presented a challenge in managing the high levels of short circuit level. Nonetheless, it is designed according to international standards as well as class requirements so we are very happy with the system. Grand Canyon is the first vessel with this solution and was delivered to its owner at the beginning of October 2012. Volstad Management is very pleased with the system and has ordered two new Skipsteknisk designed vessels of type ST259 with identical systems, an order value of 120 million NOK for NES.”

Hull No. 89 is a highlight in NES’ activity since it was last featured in European Oil and Gas at the end of 2011. In that article the company predicted a positive year ahead and the last ten months have proven to be so. Budgeting throughout 2012 has been almost exactly on schedule and by the end of the year is expected to reach the annual budget for the year as planned. Steady progress through backorders has been made, with projects such as Hull No. 89 contributing to impressive year-end sales since starting three years ago, results are currently on course for one billion NOK. Most of these orders came from the company’s traditional markets of Norway, Europe and the Middle East although links with new clients have also been forged elsewhere in the world.

One of NES’ clients is Seajacks, an owner and operator of innovative jack up rigs. NES was recently responsible for delivering a complete diesel-electric package to the self propelled jack-up rig Zaratan and NES’ quality of service during that contract has led Seajacks to award it a second, similar contract. “We received a new contract in August 2012 to deliver a similar solution and package to the Hydra, Seajacks’ latest vessel,” says Vice President Paul Winson. “It is a 50 million NOK agreement that will see us supplying engines, generators, thruster motors, drives, switchboards, UPS, a ring-net switchboard solution and other components in a turnkey package. We won the contract based on how happy Seajacks were with our performance on the Zaratan.” Paul Winson also adds, “We also received a glowing endorsement from the Lamprell Shipyard, where Zaratan was built. The yard were genuinely impressed with how competent and reliable NES was to work with during the construction of Zaratan. We are looking forward to building Seajacks’ Hydra with Lamprell.”

The Hydra, like its sister Zaratan, will be home to NES’ in-house developed technologies such as Black Out Safety System (BOSS), Remote Assistance System (RAS), and the Quadro Drive. This latter technology is a state-of-the-art modular propulsion drive unit that focuses on high performance energy processes, making it very versatile. The innovative concept and excellent reliability has made it very popular with design companies, shipyard and ship owners. BOSS and RAS offer complementary functions and have become an integral part of NES’ total integrated systems.

Research and development continues at NES’ facilities to develop solutions the market demands. “We are working on a new diesel-electric system right now that is based on a direct current (DC),” says Jan. “Its special feature will be the 15 to 20 per cent fuel savings. There have been challenges in realising it because DC systems are difficult to manage but we believe it will be up and running within the next year. BOSS is also being upgraded so that we can be the first company in the world to offer a safety system that can be operated with what we call a closed bus tie breaker during DP operation mode. That too will be ready in 2013.”

The CEO goes on to outline his vision for NES’ next few years: “We now have one of Europe’s largest test facilities for diesel-electric and hybrid systems so we are prepared for testing up to 45 systems per year, making it one of the busiest on the continent. During the last two years we have grown to having 14.7 per cent of global market share; within the next two or three years we want to expand to between 25 and 30 per cent. Already we have gained two new contracts from Volstad Management to work on their two new construction vessels, the largest of their kind in the world, at a value of $120 million. There are also some large new contracts based on Havyard design, one of them is a new construction vessel for Forland Shipping of a HD 857 design. NES is a small and dynamic company and we can even offer the biggest clients a very quick turnaround on high quality systems. That is why our customers keep coming back.”

Norwegian Electric Systems
Products: Hybrid and diesel electric systems