Norwegian ferry and boat operator Norled has put the world’s first liquid hydrogen-powered ferry into operation.
Norled had been leading the project tasked with developing the technology needed for the MF Hydra, which has now taken to the water.
Since the turn of the year, Norled has been carrying out system tests at the quay in Hjelmeland.
The transportation firm had been running sea trials before recently receiving the final approvals from the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).
‘A historic day’
Heidi Wolden, CEO of Norled, said: “Today will be a historic day, both for Norled and for Norway as a leading shipping nation.
“Today we are witnessing the world’s first ship sailing on liquid hydrogen.”
In 2015, Norled launched the world’s first battery-operated, propeller-driven ferry, the MF Ampere.
Today, Norway has around 70 such ferries in operation.
Erlend Hovland, chief technology officer of Norled, said: “There are only two parties in the world that use liquid hydrogen as a fuel – these are Norled with the MF Hydra, and then the space industry using it as fuel for launches.
“This says something about the giant technology leap now taken for the maritime industry.
“After a lot of development and testing, we are now looking forward to welcoming passengers on board for a zero-emission journey between Hjelmeland and Nesvik.”
Wolden added: “It’s important for us to be at the forefront when it comes to technology development. Investing in innovation, sustainability, and collaboration to develop new solutions is our way of taking social responsibility.”
CEO of Maritime CleanTech Ada Jakobsen, said: “MF Hydra confirms Norway’s world-leading position in the development of new green maritime solutions.
“By putting the world’s first hydrogen ferry into operation on a Norwegian ferry connection, we are once again showing how purchasing power and good public-private partnerships can be used to develop new and groundbreaking technology.
“This is important if we are to achieve Norwegian and international targets for substantial emission cuts towards 2030 and 2050.
“When Norled once again dares to go first, it will be much easier for others to follow in the wake of the MF Hydra.”
Hovland said: “It has been an incredibly exciting, educational, and challenging project – we must commend our competent cooperation partners on this journey, and not least the NPRA.
“They made liquid hydrogen a requirement in their tender specification, forcing the development of new technology – together we have made history.”
Linde Engineering in Germany has supplied the hydrogen systems on board, while Danish Ballard has developed the fuel cells that produce electricity from hydrogen.
Westcon in Ølensvåg has been responsible for equipping and completing the vessel, together with system integrator SEAM from Karmøy.
SEAM has also supplied the automation scope for the hydrogen system.
Corvus Energy has supplied the batteries for the MF Hydra, and the vessel has been approved by the Det Norske Veritas (DNV).
Image credit: Norled
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