The Norwegian Maritime Authority invited NorShipping visitors and exhibitors to a mini-seminar og cutting edge technology and innovation. New advances in alternative fuels and autonomous ships are challenging the rules and regulations the shipping industry operates under, and the NMA wishes to actively partner with the industry on finding solutions and making these into international standards.


The NMA has established a small group of experts in these fields. Senior surveyors Kolbjørn Berge, Jarle Jacobsen, Veronica Charlotte Haugan and Svein David Medhaug gave short introductions and their takes on what the future will hold. The NMAs role is to participate in developing legislation encompassing safety for vessels, crew, cargo and passengers.

- We know from experience that new, international regulations take a long time to develop. So before that happens, I think we will see some national, intermediary regulations and maybe also bilateral agreements for selected geographical areas. But Norway, along with several other nations, has started the process of developing legislation for autonomous ships in the IMO, says autonomy expert Svein David Medhaug.

First in battery vessels

- Norway has a history of firsts in development of alternative fuels. We certified the first LNG-powered ferry 17 years ago, we have just last year certified the worlds first methanol-fuelled ships. Before 2020 Norway will have a fleet of 50 battery-powered vessels. For hydrogen we have several developmental projects in the works, says battery expert Jarle Jacobsen.

He is reluctant to conclude on the fuel of the future, seeing as both technological, environmental and financial factors will contribute to the choices made.

- Of course we do not have a blueprint for the future, but we are sure that the NMA wishes to be part of the team that builds the road ahead. This implies that we see ourselves as a partner of the industry, involved from the early stages of any development project. Then we will be able to contribute to solutions that satisfy both the needs of the industry and the vessel safety we all want, says hydrogen expert Kolbjørn Berge.