Norway’s Ulstein has launched Ulstein Thor, a 149m 3R (Replenishment, Research and Rescue) design which will feature a Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) to generate vast amounts of clean, safe electricity. This enables the vessel to operate as a mobile power/charging station for a new breed of battery driven cruise ships.
The vessel concept is capable of making the vision of zero-emission cruise operations a reality. Ulstein believes the concept, hereafter referred to as Thor, may be the missing piece of the zero emissions puzzle for a broad range of maritime and ocean industry applications. To demonstrate its feasibility, Ulstein has also developed the ULSTEIN SIF concept, a 100m long, 160 POB capacity, zero-emission expedition cruise ship. This Ice Class 1C vessel will run on next-generation batteries, utilising Thor to recharge while at sea.
“We have the goals, ambition and environmental imperative to switch to zero-emission operations, but, until now, we haven’t had the solution,” comments CEO Catherine Kristiseter Marti, Ulstein. “We believe Thor might be the answer we’ve been looking for. Thor is essentially a floating, multi-purpose ‘power station’ that will enable a new battery revolution. »
“Expedition cruise ships operate in increasingly remote, and environmentally fragile, areas. At the same time, the industry faces growing pressure from diverse stakeholders to preserve nature as it is and ban the environmental impact of cruising. Thor enables replenishment of energy and supplies on site, while also boasting the technology to facilitate rescue operations, as well as conducting research tasks. It is, in effect, a crucial piece of infrastructure to support sustainable and safer operations. Thor literally has the power to change our entire industry,” states Ms. Marti. (Image from Ulstein)