Historic steamship could be set to go green

Due to the loss of international tourism, New Zealand's GDP will be 3% to 5% lower than it would...
The TSS Earnslaw could be set to go green. PHOTO: ODT FILES
The owner of the TSS Earnslaw is considering how to replace the historic steamship’s coal-fired boilers with an environmentally friendly means of propulsion.

Queenstown company RealNZ has begun a feasibility study into alternatives ways of generating the steam that drives the vessel, which turns 109 today.

Chief executive Stephen England-Hall said the ship's original boilers would soon need replacing.

It would be a "major and invasive piece of work" requiring the vessel to be out of the water for an extended time.

"That would be the obvious time to implement a carbon-neutral or carbon-zero solution," Mr England-Hall said.

"We will essentially look for a new source of heat to generate steam that replaces the coal."

Carbon-neutral options were wood pellets or bio-diesel fuel, while carbon-zero options were renewable hydrogen fuel, battery-electric or fully-electric.

The Earnslaw is the oldest coal-fired passenger-carrying steamship in the southern hemisphere.

It carries passengers across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown to the Colonel's Homestead and Walter Peak High Country Farm.



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