While Norled’s fully electric Ampere ’turned the Norwegian ferry industry upside down’, the operator expects its first hydrogen ferry to have an even greater impact
Norled project manager for international transport Kjell Ove Hatlem was addressing Interferry’s annual conference in London, and told delegates about the challenges of building a liquid hydrogen ferry, in a presentation titled ’The next industry game changers – hydrogen-fuelled ferries’.
He said “We are working to get liquid hydrogen and I think that will change the business the same way Ampere [Norled’s first all-electric ferry] did at the time. There is no production or bunker station in Norway, there is no way to get hydrogen.”
Nevertheless, the company has a project to build two zero-emissions ferries, to be delivered in 2021. “They will look the same” but one will be fully electric, and one will be fuelled by liquid hydrogen. They will cross close to Stavanger in Norway.
Mr Ove Hatlem said, “We will initially transport liquid hydrogen from France or Germany by truck or boat, trying to have as small an environmental impact as possible. It will take another three or four years before we have the infrastructure in Norway to produce liquid hydrogen and have the bunker stations where we want them.” He highlighted that the hydrogen will be made from clean power such as wind, water or solar power.
“This is a business opportunity for hydrogen production, transport and bunkering,” he said, adding that while it will start in the ferry sector, hydrogen power will be used in other transport sectors including cruise ships, trucks and buses.
Highlighting the help ferry operators gain from the Norwegian Government to build a vessel powered by hydrogen, he said it gave support by funding and giving the operator new contracts. “You need zero-emissions vessels and they pay the extra for that, giving us a huge advantage as an industry,” he said.
Revealing more technical details about the hydrogen-powered and electric-propelled zero-emissions fast ferries, he said the energy consumption would be based on foils that will lift up the vessel and use 45% less energy per passenger than traditional high-speed craft.
“We will introduce this new technology keeping the same speed we have today, the same comfort and timetables,” said Mr Ove Hatlem.
The electric version will go shorter distances and liquid hydrogen will be used for the ferry travelling longer distances. There will be no emission of NOx, Sox or CO2, they will be completely emissions-free with the hydrogen produced from clean sources.
The ferry operator works with partners on the ferries, including experts in design and propulsion.