Norway’s Torghatten Nord orders world’s largest hydrogen powered ferries

Written by Nick Blenkey
hydrogen powered ferry with MAN Cryo technology

With a length of 117 meter and a capacity of up to 120 cars, the vessels will be the world's largest hydrogen powered ferries. [Image: Trollhatten Nord]

Norwegian ferry operator Torghatten Nord has awarded Myklelbust Shipyard a contract for what, it says, will be the world’s two largest hydrogen powered ferries. With a length of 117 meter and a capacity of up to 120 cars, they will carry operate on Norway’s longest ferry route between Bodø and Lofoten, with a distance of around 166 kilometers. They will be bunkered with hydrogen produced in Bodø.

“At Myklebust we found an environment with high competence at a sustainable price. I am proud that we are making it happen in Norway, because this is a big boost for the Norwegian technology and shipyard environment,“ says Torghatten Nord managing director Marius Hansen. “Together with the authorities, we are in the process of setting the standard for a completely new class of ship, with a world-class innovation and climate project.”

Thus far very few details of the technology to be used in the hydrogen-powered ferries have been disclosed.

“There are no other maritime hydrogen projects internationally that come close to the scale and ambitions of this project. We have therefore prioritized spending some time on building a team of Norwegian suppliers with the aim of transporting the local population, businesses and tourists in a safe, efficient and comfortable way,” says Hansen. “It goes to design, safety systems, hydrogen production, and now construction of the vessels. It has been particularly demanding to get this in place in a market characterized by war and uncertainty in Europe.”

The hydrogen-powered ferries will be delivered from Myklebust Verft during 2026. The suppliers of design, technology, equipment and hydrogen in the project are Norwegian, and the project is also being carried out in close cooperation with the Norwegian Maritime Directorate and classification society Lloyd’s Register to develop procedures and safety standards for a completely new type of ferries.

“When we are building two large ships packed with new technology, it is desirable that the project is thoroughly worked out before the contract with the shipyard is signed. We have now laid a good foundation to succeed with the ambitions in the project,” says Hansen.

Myklebust Verft is based in Gursken south of Ålesund. The contract for the construction of the 117 meter long ferries means increased staffing and high activity at the shipyard for the foreseeable future. Its current order book includes an innovative energy construction vessel for Rem Offshore.

“We are very pleased to have reached the goal of an agreement to build the world’s largest hydrogen ship, in close cooperation with the shipping company. Together with the maritime cluster in Norway, we will develop new knowledge, secure jobs and be able to take on more apprentices with this assignment. It will be exciting to deliver something that no one has done before us,” says Leiv Sindre Muren, CEO of Myklebust Verft.

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