Norwegian Shipyard to Build World’s Largest Hydrogen-Powered Ships

Norwegian Shipyard to Build World’s Largest Hydrogen-Powered Ships

The maritime industry is currently awash with competing alternative fuels, as the industry aims to meet the ambitious ‘net-zero’ goals set out by the IMO. One of these alternative fuels, hydrogen, has had a relatively low profile. But, this is likely to change given the news that a Norwegian shipyard is set to build the ‘world’s largest’ hydrogen-powered ships.

The shipyard in question is Myklebust Verft, and will be building the two vessels on behalf of Norwegian transport company Torghatten Nord. Once complete, the vessels are expected to be bunkered with hydrogen produced in Bodø.

The two vessels will be based upon designs produced by The Norwegian Ship Design Company and - once completed and operational - will work the challenging waters of the Vestfjordstrekninga fjord in the Arctic Circle. 

It is expected that the vessels will receive Lloyd’s Register (LR) classification following approval in principle (AiP) that was awarded in August 2022. 

The two vessels will claim the mantle of being the ‘world’s largest’ hydrogen-powered vessels due to their 117-metre length and ability to carry 120 cars. 

And, what about that hydrogen propulsion? According to a statement, the two vessels will operate on hydrogen 85% of the time - a biodiesel backup will also be installed when hydrogen propulsion is not available/desired. 

A hydrogen storage unit on board each vessel will feed hydrogen gas to a set of fuel cells. At which point the fuel cells will convert the hydrogen into electricity to both propel the vessel and power auxiliary equipment and systems. 

It is expected that this propulsion system will allow the vessels to operate at an average speed of 17 knots. The system is also expected to produce CO2 savings of approximately 26,500 tons per year.

Commenting on their selection to build the vessels, CEO of Myklebust Verft, Leiv Sindre Muren, said: 

“We are delighted that Myklebust Verft has been selected to build these innovative, large-scale hydrogen-powered ferries, showcasing Norway’s level of expertise and ambition and augmenting its maritime hydrogen power infrastructure. We look forward to developing our relationship with Lloyd’s Register as we partner on these complex newbuilds”.

Marius Hansen, managing director of Torghatten Nord - the company ordering the vessels, said: 

“We are delighted to be working with Myklebust Verft on this project, as together with our partners we set the standard for a completely new class of ship that reduces emissions and supports sustainable operations. This project is a significant boost for the Norwegian technology and shipyard environment, and we are proud to make it happen in Norway”.

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Brookes Bell’s naval architecture team possesses extensive experience and expertise in marine design - with our services underpinned by the latest CAD technology (e.g. Rhino, AutoCAD, Inventor, Solid Works, Aveva Marine/E3D), and finite element analysis. 

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