Smyril Lines, a ship operating company based in the Faroe Islands, is committed to incorporating sustainability practices into its operations. As the Chief Operating Officer (COO), responsible for overseeing the company’s six vessels, Jóhan av Reyni recognizes the importance of prioritizing sustainability.

To monitor the efficiency of their vessels, Smyril Lines employs the NAVTOR System from Norway. This advanced system enables the measurement of technical ship performance, allowing the company to identify areas for improvement and optimize energy consumption.

In pursuit of a more sustainable fleet, Smyril Lines has developed a comprehensive Sustainability Program for its ships. The company has been actively working on reducing fossil fuel usage across its six vessels. By employing various strategies such as installing new propellers* and utilizing a more efficient engine operation by optimizing the combinator curves of the Propulsion setup, Smyril Lines has managed to save a significant amount of emissions, with each vessel achieving a reduction of 2,300 to 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions to date.

*(Originally the vessels were designed to sail in ice waters. As they do not sail in ice the propeller blades have been replaced for better fuel efficiency.)

One notable aspect of Smyril Lines’ sustainability efforts involves the installation of large propeller blades. The company has recognized that the size and efficiency of the propeller play a crucial role in reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Through the expertise of consultancy companies like Danish-based Knud e Jansen, Smyril Lines focuses on designing new vessel alternatives that prioritize sustainability.

While exploring alternatives to fossil fuels, Smyril Lines acknowledges that there are currently no realistic alternatives available. However, the company has introduced tanks designed specifically for methanol usage, demonstrating its commitment to adopting cleaner energy sources in the future. Additionally, Smyril Lines has been utilizing a mixture of biofuel from a Dutch company with normal gas, resulting in a 30% reduction in emissions compared to the previous use of rough oil. However, further testing is required to ensure the safety and efficiency of this new mixture.

Although electric drive systems are not viable for the existing fleet, Smyril Lines is committed to incorporating green power in its new vessels. However, the successful implementation of electric drive systems depends on the availability of suitable facilities in the harbors and ports. Adhering to the European Union’s port deadline for establishing green power infrastructure presents a significant investment for both the company and the ports involved. Nevertheless, Smyril Lines recognizes these investments as essential contributions to the environment and the sustainability of the industry.

Smyril Lines currently operates five cargo ships and one passenger ship. The company has implemented several measures to enhance sustainability and passenger comfort on board. These include the installation of water filter systems to ensure clean tap water, addressing noise and vibration issues, and replacing silencers to minimize their impact on the crew, passengers, and the surrounding biosphere. While these measures incur maintenance costs, Smyril Lines acknowledges their importance in maintaining a high-quality experience while minimizing their ecological impact.

One of the sustainability efforts within Smyril Lines revolves around waste management. The company emphasizes the separation of garbage and ensures that recyclable materials are properly disposed of. By implementing effective recycling practices, Smyril Lines minimizes its environmental footprint and contributes to a circular economy.

Weather conditions play a significant role in emissions for Smyril Lines. Rerouting ships due to adverse weather conditions increases fuel consumption and emissions. To mitigate this, the company relies on accurate weather predictions. Monitoring weather conditions on the Norröna RoPax ferry ensures that departures are delayed if necessary to maintain smooth journeys, which is appreciated by passengers.

As the ships in Smyril Lines’ fleet approach 20 years of service, the company emphasizes the need for increased investment in green energy and sustainability adaptations by the Faroe Islands’ port. Collaborative efforts between the shipping industry and port authorities are important to achieve their sustainability goals fully.

Smyril Lines is dedicated to integrating sustainability into its ship operations. From waste management and vessel efficiency monitoring to exploring alternative fuels and embracing green power, the company demonstrates its commitment to environmental responsibility. With a focus on reducing emissions, improving vessel design, and implementing sustainable practices, Smyril Lines is navigating towards a greener future for the shipping industry in the Faroe Islands.


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Johanna Fischer/FrauBlau for Visit Faroe Islands Meetings, 28.06.2023



Johanna Fischer for Visit Faroe Islands Meetings,

Germany, 27.6.23