Swedish hydrogen fuel cell supplier PowerCell has signed an agreement to deliver hydrogen fuel cells to two ships operated by Torghatten Nord on Norway’s longest ferry route, representing a significant milestone for the shipping industry’s energy transition.
The order, which was secured after a thorough tender process, has a value of €19.2m, and is considered to be the largest non-combustion fuel propulsion project to date in the global marine industry.
PowerCell will work with Norwegian systems developer and integrator of low- and zero-emission solutions for marine industry SEAM to deliver the solution. SEAM will be responsible for the electrical installations on the ferries. Final delivery is to take place in the fourth quarter of 2024. Torghatten Nord and PowerCell intend to enter into a long-term service agreement.
PowerCell will deliver its PowerCellution Marine System 200 to two vessels owned and operated by Torghatten Nord, enabling the ferries to produce approximately 6MW of power each. The ferries, which will predominantly be powered by green hydrogen, are expected to reduce their combined CO2 emissions by 26,500t/yr.
The project is part of a Norwegian government initiative that aims to see all ferries crossing the Vestfjorden between Lofoten and Bodø in Northern Norway become emission-free. With a long crossing of up to four hours, green hydrogen was deemed the most viable solution to supply the power these vessels require. The ferries – each with a capacity of 599 passengers and 120 cars – are scheduled to operate from October 2025 as part of a replacement programme for similar sized and operable fossil energy-powered ferries.
Richard Berkling, CEO PowerCell, said: “This is a groundbreaking project not just for PowerCell or Norway, but for the entire marine industry, and one that we are very happy and proud to be part of. Norway led the development in the introduction of liquefied natural gas in the marine industry and now the country is taking an important step to establish green hydrogen as a clean energy source for our hard to abate sector. Our solutions are perfectly suited for demanding applications where operational reliability, high power density and compact format are important parameters. The transition to electrification and emission-free energy is accelerating and is supported by supranational initiatives such as the EU’s Green Deal and the large-scale investments to reach the Paris Agreement. In Norway alone, there are roughly 800 ferry lines and ferries are a segment where we can expect great interest in hydrogen-electric solutions. Starting next year, the maritime sector will be included in the EU Emissions Trading System, which will increase the demand for net zero, hydrogen-powered solutions.”