Sweden’s Erik Thun Group has been granted government funds to help with battery pack retrofits.

The shipowner is investing SEK 36m ($3.34m) in the work involving nine of its dry cargo ships.

Money to cover up to 40% of this cost — a maximum of SEK 14.4m — is coming from the Climate Leap initiative, part of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s decarbonisation investment programme.

“By installing battery packs and making the shore power connection smoother for the vessels, the need to use the engines while in port will be minimised,” Erik Thun said.

This will cut emissions, reduce noise and improve safety, as the battery packs will be back-ups for all onboard systems, it added.

The Climate Leap grant is conditional on the project being completed by 30 June 2024.

Erik Thun has 38 operational ships including a small bulker, general cargo ships and product tankers.

Four more general cargo ships are on order, together with seven tankers.

The orderbook was expanded in January with a deal for eight new vessels at Scheepswerf Ferus Smit in the Netherlands: four dry cargo units and four coastal tankers.

The four multipurposes have a capacity of 5,100 dwt and ice class 1B. They are described as next-generation Troll-Max units, capable of operating in the Trollhatte canal and on Lake Vanern in Sweden.

The Thun Tankers division put pen to paper for the 7,999-dwt product tankers.