Danish ferry operator DFDS and its partners are seeking EU funding to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered ferry
Alongside DFDS, ABB, Ballard Power Systems Europe, Hexagon Purus, Lloyd’s Register, Knud E Hansen, Ørsted and Danish Ship Finance will work on the project to develop a hydrogen-powered ferry for DFDS’ Oslo–Frederikshavn–Copenhagen route.
Sporting the working name Europa Seaways, the ferry is designed to accommodate 1,800 passengers and will be powered by electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell system that emits only water and can produce up to 23 MW to propel the ferry. The partners estimate that the fully operational ferry could help cut CO2 emissions by 64,000 tonnes.
The project calls for the development of a large-scale fuel cell installation with green hydrogen to be produced by a projected offshore wind energy-powered electrolyser plant in Greater Copenhagen. The partners have applied for support from the EU’s Innovation Fund and hope to have the ferry in full operation as early as 2027 “if the project develops as projected.”
Ørsted head of hydrogen activities and vice president Anders Nordstrøm said “If regulators are willing to put the right framework in place to enable the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels, Danish companies are willing to invest in large-scale Power-to-X-projects. This project is another proof of the strong potential of renewable hydrogen production, powered by continued build-out of offshore wind."
DFDS chief executive Torben Carlsen said “The largest fuel cell systems today produce only 1-5 MW, and the development of such large-scale fuel cell installations for an electric ferry is a monumental task. We can only succeed in partnerships with companies that together can muster some of the globe’s finest expertise in design, approval, building, financing and operation of innovative vessels.”
The project is part of DFDS’ corporate plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. The company is looking at a long-term tonnage adaptation plan focusing on replacing fossil fuels with zero-emissions fuels.
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