Norway to be first with hydrogen fueled ferry? Maybe not

Written by Nick Blenkey
image description

The race is on to build the world’s first hydrogen powered ferry. Norwegian operator Norled has beaten out competitors Fjord 1 and Boreal to win a Norwegian Public Roads Administration contract for the development, construction and operation of a hydrogen-electric ferry where at least 50 per cent of the energy requirement is covered by hydrogen.

The ferry will enter operation in 2021 connecting the national road 13 between Hjelmeland – Skipavik – Nesvik in Rogaland and will carry up to 299 passengers and 80 cars.

Norled is claiming that the ferry will be a “world first.” That may depend on how you define “ferry.”

As we reported earlier (see story), back in June last year Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM) was awarded a $3 million grant by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build what will be the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the United States — and, says GGZEM, the first commercial fuel cell ferry in the world.

GGZEM’s partners in the project include: Bay Ship & Yacht Co., BAE Systems, Hydrogenics, Red and White Fleet, Incat Crowther, Hexagon Composites, OMB-Saleri, the Port of San Francisco, and Sandia National Laboratories.

Called the Water-Go-Round, the 70 foot aluminum catamaran, designed by Incat Crowther, will carry 84 passengers, have a 22 knot top speed and will be built by the Bay Ship & Yacht Co.
shipyard in Alameda, which laid the vessel’s keel last November with completion planned for September this year.

Though the Water-Go-Round is smaller than the planned Norled vessel, it looks like it will be operational very much sooner.

Categories: Ferries Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply