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Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery

Marine Propulsion & Auxiliary Machinery

Norway invests in marine fuel cell projects

Mon 07 Jan 2019 by Gavin Lipsith

Norway invests in marine fuel cell projects
The Samskip-led Seashuttle project aims to develop a short-sea containership powered by hydrogen fuel cells (credit: Samskip)

Two projects to power ships with hydrogen fuel cells have received funding under a Norwegian environmental scheme.

The Pilot-E initiative, organised by Norway’s Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova, supports several environmental projects each year. Of the six to receive funding in the latest round, two are in the commercial marine sector and feature hydrogen fuel cells.

“Hydrogen is one of the solutions we have great expectations for,” said Norway’s minister of climate and environment Ola Elvestuen. “There are exciting plans going forward in research and the business sector to make shipping more environmentally friendly.”

Multimodal operator Samskip is leading a project to develop two containerships for short-sea routes between Oslo, Poland and the western coast of Sweden. The ships will be entirely electric and will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The Seashuttle project team includes technology supplier Kongsberg, hydrogen specialist Hyon and Massterly, the autonomous vessel solutions joint venture between Kongsberg Maritime and Wilhelmsen. The grant follows €6.0M (US$6.8M) already received from the Norwegian government.

Meanwhile Norwegian shipyard and marine technology group Havyard has been granted Nkr104.3M (US$12.0M) to develop a ‘high-capacity hydrogen energy system’. It will be installed on one of four cruise ferries being built for new Norwegian coastal operator Havila Kystruten.

Havyard said the system, combined with batteries, will enable the ship to sail without emissions for five times longer than “other planned or existing vessels”. It will be installed and in operation by the end of 2022.

The other two maritime projects awarded funding are both in the fast boat segment. Selfa Arctic and Flying Foil will each develop emission-free speedboats featuring electric propulsion based on batteries or fuel cells.

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