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2 minutes read

Norway’s Myklebust Verft to Build World’s Largest Hydrogen Ferries

Norwegian shipyard Myklebust Verft has been selected to build a pair of innovative hydrogen-powered passenger ferries ordered by Norwegian transport company Torghatten Nord.

The design, produced by The Norwegian Ship Design Company for operations in the challenging waters of the Vestfjordstrekninga fjord in the Arctic Circle, received approval in principle (AIP) in August 2022 from Lloyd’s Register, who has signed on to class the first-of-their-kind vessels.

At 117 meters long with a 120-car capacity, the duo will be the world’s largest hydrogen-powered ships, operating on green hydrogen at least 85% of the time. Operating at an average speed of 17 knots in often challenging conditions, the vessels will navigate the 278km-long Vestfjordstrekninga ferry route connecting Bodø, the islands of Røst and Værøy, and Moskenes.

A hydrogen storage unit onboard the vessel will feed gas to the fuel cells, creating electricity to propel the vessels and power their auxiliary systems, reducing CO2-emissions on the route by around 26,500 tons each year.

The alternative fuel newbuilds with biodiesel backup, bring together LR as the class society, owner Torghatten Nord, The Norwegian Ship Design Company, Myklebust Verft shipyard, systems integrator SEAM, and hydrogen supplier GreenH. The Norwegian Maritime Authority will flag the two vessels.

Marius Hansen, Managing director, Torghatten Nord, said the newbuilds will “set the standard for a completely new class of ship that reduces emissions and supports sustainable operations”. He added, “This project is a significant boost for the Norwegian technology and shipyard environment and we are proud to make it happen in Norway.”

Leiv Sindre Muren, CEO, Myklebust Verft, said the “innovative, large-scale hydrogen-powered ferries [showcase] Norway’s level of expertise and ambition and augmenting its maritime hydrogen power infrastructure”.

Gjermund Johannessen, CEO, The Norwegian Ship Design Company, said, “These hydrogen ferries are unmatched by any other ferries in the world today, with the largest hydrogen installations in a ship ever by a substantial margin. We have developed a unique hydrogen concept using hydrogen’s physical properties for achieving optimal safety. We believe hydrogen will play an important role for zero-emission short-sea shipping.”

Nick Brown, CEO, LR, said,“These flagship hydrogen-powered ferries represent a significant milestone for Norway as it furthers its continuing commitment to clean hydrogen infrastructure.  We see significant interest in green hydrogen as a maritime fuel especially for short-sea shipping.”

The hydrogen-powered ferries join another set of LR-classed vessels currently being built in Norway; two construction support offshore vessels (CSOVs) are being built at Vard Langsten shipyard and will enter service late in 2025 or early 2026.

Alf Tore Sørheim, Acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Norwegian Maritime Authority, said, “Signing contracts for zero-emission vessels is a significant milestone. The Norwegian Maritime Authority is pleased to see Norwegian shipping companies taking responsibility and driving forward new technologies for reducing emissions, and that they have competent partners to assist them in this endeavour.”

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