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Norway: Norled’s Hydrogen Ferry Begins to Take Shape

By April 15, 2019

April 15, 2019

Latest ship design drawings of Norled’s upcoming hydrogen ferry are ready, and the goal is to create a new icon for Norwegian maritime innovation.

It has been barely two months since Norled signed the contract with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to build the world’s first hydrogen ferry to transport cars and passengers on the Hjelmelandsband. Together with ship designer LMG Marin and partner Westcon Power & Automation and Norled has created a ship design that is expected to be world-renowned.

  • Our goal is to create a new icon within eco-friendly ferries that follow the “Ampere” electric ferry’s iconic value, says technical director at Norled Sigvald Breivik.
  • When we know that this ferry will change the story with regard to the use of hydrogen in maritime industry, we want the design to reflect it. We are therefore pleased that the final design expresses power, innovation and safety, ”says Breivik.

The interest in the new Norwegian ferry has been great both in Norway and internationally, but not least among foreign media in both maritime environments and other environments that work for more sustainable shipping.

  • Hydrogen is a sustainable product that is 100% environmentally friendly. This will be the first vessel in the world to sail on liquid hydrogen so we have had a desire to burst boundaries. This is reflected in the design, says Torbjørn Bringedal, who is general manager of LMG Marin and ship designer for the ferry.
  • We have emphasized that the expression on this ferry should be clean, ground-breaking, timeless, and at the same time have a modern expression, he continues.
  • The location of the hydrogen installation on the roof is not random. We have considered various technical solutions, but have come to the conclusion that placing the hydrogen tank high up was the best alternative, both for safety and practical reasons, ”says Breivik. He adds that even in the case of bunkering of just over a ton of liquid hydrogen every three weeks, the construction on the roof was advantageous, and we also work closely with Norwegian maritime authorities and DNV GL on the handling of the liquid hydrogen.
  • We are of course happy that the interest in being able to participate in the construction of this new icon has been very large, and we are in dialogue with several reputable yards in both Norway and abroad. This is one of the biggest innovation projects Norled has had, and we do thorough reviews. Our ambition is to be able to announce which yard that will build the hydrogen holiday before Easter starts, says Breivik.

The hydrogen ferry should be adapted to universal design with wide and threshold-free access roads without the use of a lift. In addition, the ship design has taken into account that the ferry gets clean lanes for easy logistics of vehicles, large public areas for passengers with large windows that will provide a lot of natural light in the lounge, and a well visible hydrogen installation.

The hydrogen ferry will go on route at Hjelmelandsbandband in Rogaland from April 2021, and until then there are still a number of milestones in the project to be decided, including the choice of the yard that will build the vessel.

Building the world’s first hydrogen ferry boat requires expertise from different environments, and in addition to working with LMG Marin and Westcon Power & Automation, Protech, Ballard Power Systems and Linde Engineering are also key contributors and suppliers to the project.