The Norwegian government said it would launch a new support scheme for the building of several eco-friendly ships and ferry boats as part of a package of measures to provide more jobs.
An investment of 65 million kroner (7.95 million U.S. dollars) in the new support scheme for green shipping was approved in the revised national budget for maritime industry areas, such as shipping, shipbuilding and equipment supply, the government said in a statement.
The grant would contribute to development and the introduction of low and zero-emission technology in local shipping, which would further reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lessen local air pollution, Norwegian minister of climate and environment Vidar Helgesen said.
“According to the Paris Agreement, we are committed to cutting gas emissions, including those from the shipping industry. We are now making sure we are preparing our green ship and ferry boats for building. This will also provide employment along the coast and strengthen competitiveness for the Norwegian maritime industry,” he said.
The money comes in addition to other existing support schemes. None of these, however, are so comprehensive as the new scheme for eco-friendly ships with low gas emissions. It includes all the shipping with inland operations, including aquaculture and fishing fleet.
“The support scheme will help Norway to maintain its leading maritime position, both when it comes to expertise, technology and environment. It would also bring more business to Norwegian shipyards and equipment suppliers, which will provide more working places along the coast,” Norwegian minister of trade and industry Monica Maeland said.
The new scheme is aimed at municipalities, county councils, and private operators, such as shipping companies, shipyards, and equipment suppliers.
Municipalities and county councils use the ferry boat services and have an important role in running the transition to low and zero-emission technology, while the private operators put this into practice.
The support scheme for the public sector will be administered by the Norwegian ministry of climate and environment, while the private part will be managed by the state-owned company Innovation Norway, the statement said.