Hydrogen’s viability as fuel for long haul ferries some years in the future

Proposed magnolia Seaways power train CREDIT DFDS

Hydrogen and fuel cells are under the magnifying glass of several ferry companies in northern Europe with one currently in service. Kari Reinikainen finds the use of hydrogen on longer services that require more of the fuel may still lie a few years ahead.

Among the recipients of these grants was Samskip Kvitnos, a 2015 built, 120 metre long freight ferry that operates between Rotterdam and the west coast of Norway – a much longer run that that served by the 82 metre long Hydra. The grant covers a pre-project study of the viability to convert the vessel to run on hydrogen fuel and fuel cells in the future.

Many ferry operators face more pressure to go green compared to owners of many other types of ships, as they deal with passengers among their customers, rather than just freight owners that are corporate clients. A vessel that operates on green fuel can have a significant advantage in competition for passengers compared to a conventionally fuelled vessel.

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