European ferry operator DFDS has announced plans for a partnership to develop a hydrogen-powered ferry to be in operation as soon as 2027.
The partnership includes DFDS, ABB, Ballard Power Systems Europe, Hexagon Purus, Lloyd’s Register, KNUD E. HANSEN, Ørsted and Danish Ship Finance.
The plan is to develop a roll-on/roll-off passenger ferry powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system which only emits water and can produce 23 MW of power. So-called green hydrogen will be produced by a planned offshore wind energy-powered electrolyser plant near Copenhagen.
The ferry has the working name Europa Seaways and is designed for 1,800 passengers and 120 trucks or 380 cars, said DFDS.
“The largest fuel cell systems today produce only 1-5 MW, and the development of such large-scale fuel cell installations for an electric ferry is a monumental task. We can only succeed in partnership with companies that bring together some of the globe’s finest expertise in design, approval, building, financing and operation of innovative vessels,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.
The project comes as the shipping industry explores alternative fuels to help achieve the International Maritime Organization’s ambition to cut in half greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. Green hydrogen has emerged as an alternative fuel contender since it can be zero-emission if produced from renewable sources such as wind, solar or tidal power.
“Together, we expect to be able to make these fuel types and technologies commercially viable, which is key to a transition of the industry to climate neutrality. This is also the ultimate goal of DFDS’ climate action plan,” says Torben.
The partnership has now applied for support from the EU Innovation Fund in order to accelerate the process.
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