hydrogen, fuel, ferry, Norway, energy, environment
Photo: Norled

Innovative hydrogen vessel coming to Norway

The European innovation project FLAGSHIPS has €5 million from the EU to support two commercially operated zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vessels in France and Norway.

The European innovation project FLAGSHIPS has been awarded €5 million from the EU to contribute to the construction of two new vessels, one in Lyon, France and one in Stavanger, Norway.

In Lyon, a hydrogen push-boat operated by Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT) will serve as a utility vessel on one of its most demanding rivers, the Rhône.

In Stavanger, hydrogen is intended to power a passenger and car ferry operated by Norled as part of the local public transport network.

The funds awarded to the FLAGSHIPS project have been granted from the EU’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.

“Both the EU and the shipping industry see hydrogen as a key contributor in the work to mitigate climate change. The FLAGSHIPS project sets out to raise the readiness of hydrogen-powered waterborne transport to a new level globally,” says Antti Pohjoranta, senior scientist and project manager at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who will be coordinating the project.

The project aim is that both vessels will run on hydrogen produced from renewable energy.

“Norled has taken a leading role in the development of zero emission ferries. This innovation project will be an important next step when it comes to proving the maritime fuel cell technology and illustrating its business viability,” says Sigvald Breivik, Norled CTO.

Broad and long investment
This innovation project will also look at the possibility of replacing biodiesel with hydrogen on one of the ferries to be built for the Finnøy-route northeast of Stavanger.

Norled’s intention is to apply the hydrogen technology being developed by the company in several other ongoing hydrogen-related projects, such as building the world’s first ship powered by liquid hydrogen for the Hjelmeland connection in Western Norway.

In addition to the project funding, significant additional investment to build the ships is being made by the shipowners CFT and Norled as well as the consortium partners.

An important part of the project will also be the building of European support networks covering hydrogen fuel supply chains, vessel design and manufacturing competence networks as well as significantly broad-based regulatory expertise.

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