Funding for Havyard hydrogen fuel cell project

Left to right: Kristian Osnes, Kristian Steinsvik, Jorgen Kopperstad and Kjellbjørn Kopperstad of Havyard Group Left to right: Kristian Osnes, Kristian Steinsvik, Jorgen Kopperstad and Kjellbjørn Kopperstad of Havyard Group

Ship designer Havyard and operator Havila Kystruten are to develop and test a ‘high capacity hydrogen energy system’ after receiving a NOK104.3 million (US$12.1 million) grant.

The investment was secured from Pilot-E, an emissions-focused funding initiative jointly coordinated by the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and Enova. It will be used to develop Havyard’s FreeCO2ast concept, combining batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to deliver zero-emission sailing capacity that the designer says will be ‘up to five times longer than other existing or planned vessels’. The system will be trialed on one of four ships Havila Kystruten is building to serve the Norwegian coastal route.

“We want to create a technology involving hydrogen and batteries that enables large vessels to sail with zero emissions over long stretches and at high speed,” said Kristian Steinsvik, head of R&D, Havyard. “Never before have so many big vessels crossed such long distances with zero emissions as projected in our current plans.”

The partners believe that a ship using hydrogen will be able to sail half the coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes – including the UNESCO World Heritage fjords - without emissions. The system will be in operation by the end of 2022.

Havila Kystruten’s ships will host the world’s biggest marine battery packs when they enter service in 2021. The vessels – alongside the soon-to-be retrofitted LNG and battery powered vessels of fellow coastal license holder Hurtigruten – meet strict environmental requirements laid down by the Norwegian government before awarding the concessions.

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