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Residential ship Njord to be powered by carbon-neutral methanol

Njord would have 117 luxurious private residences priced starting at $8.5m
Ocean Residences' Njord is planned to become the world’s first superyacht 100% powered by carbon-neutral methanol.

The vessel originally was announced as LNG-powered.

E-methanol and bio-methanol

When Meyer Werft broached the methanol idea, 'We jumped on the opportunity and immediately gave the green light to begin engineering studies,' said Kristian Stensby, chairman and CEO of Ocean Residences. 'Today we are proud to announce that the M/Y Njord will be the first residential vessel to run on e-methanol and bio-methanol, giving the Njord access to Norway’s world heritage fjords and other environmentally sensitive areas.'

Stensby continued: 'Although this technology comes at a cost, we are confident that this investment will pay big dividends for our shared environment, our residence owners and, ultimately, will signal to other shipowners the need to move towards carbon-neutral fuels.'

'Finest green ship to date'

'Our company is proud to embark on building the finest green ship to date,' said Bernard Meyer, managing partner, Meyer Werft. 'Meyer Werft’s commitment to ocean conservation is a top priority and the vision of M/Y Njord as a "ship with a purpose" is directly aligned with our company values and commitment to the environment.'

Philanthropic research

Njord is designed for global operations with a Polar Class 6 standard and a variety of exploration tools. It would host oceanographic and atmospheric research by inviting the collaboration of scientific and academic organizations.

Quest to decarbonize shipping

According to Our World in Data from the University of Oxford, in 2019 international shipping was responsible for approximately 10.6% of global transport CO2 emissions. With major economies around the world attempting to cut emissions to meet net-zero targets, the shipping sector is seeking new ways of reducing its environmental footprint.

In April, Brussels-headquartered campaign group Transport & Environment published a wide-ranging report on decarbonizing shipping. Among other things, it stressed the importance of sustainable fuels. 'To achieve full decarbonization of the shipping sector requires a new source of sustainable and renewable fuel,' its research said. 'Fuels produced by additional renewable electricity (e-fuels or electrofuels) are the only scalable solution that fits the requirements of energy dense, deployable, and clean fuels.'

Renewable methanol's benefits

Compared to conventional fuels, renewable methanol is said to cut CO2 emissions by up to 95%, reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% and completely eliminate sulfur oxide and particulate matter emissions. Renewable methanol is an ultra-low carbon chemical produced from sustainable biomass, often called bio-methanol, or from carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced from renewable electricity.

It can be sourced from a wide range of renewable resources such as forestry and agricultural waste and byproducts, biogas from landfill, municipal waste, pulp and paper industry byproducts, and using different technology approaches such as capturing from renewable sources and green hydrogen.

Dual-fuel engines, batteries

Njord is designed with dual-fuel engines, with tank capacity for methanol and MGO, batteries for hybridization, heat recovery systems and advanced power management systems. To ensure the vessel is future proof, the engines and fuel tanks will be ready for easy conversion, to take advantage of future fuels with even lower carbon footprints.

117 residences starting at $8.5m

The 291-meter/955-foot Njord measures 86,000gt and holds 117 luxurious private residences with 15 custom-tailored floor plans from 1,500 square feet to 9,000 square feet and priced from $4,800 per square foot.

The two- to six-bedroom residences are priced starting at $8.5m. The annual maintenance fee is projected to be approximately 4.5% of the purchase price.

There will be capacity for 300 crew.

Subject to financing

The newbuild order is still subject to financing.

In order to begin construction, Ocean Residences needs to close on approximately 50 residence contracts to guarantee construction financing, Chief Strategy Officer Leif-Erik Hvide said. He did not disclose how many residences have been contracted so far.

 In its promotional materials, Ocean Residences anticipates steel-cutting in 2023 and delivery in 2026.

Principal, designers, further partners

Ocean Residences principal Kristian Stensby is a real estate and cruise industry veteran. In 1990, he assembled a company of 'classic' ships that came to be called Premier Cruises and served as its chairman and CEO until 1997. Earlier, he was treasurer for Kloster Cruise Ltd., the parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Cruise Line and Royal Viking Line.

Njord's chief interior designer, the noted Jean Stutzman has an extensive career in cruise, yacht and luxury residential design. Working alongside him is Espen Øino International, a leading superyacht design company, and Foreship Oy, a leading naval architectural firm specializing in passenger ship design and engineering.

Njord would be registered in Norway, classed to DNV and initially operated by V.Ships.

Only one residential ship currently exists, The World, built in 2002. There have been numerous attempts since then.