Over the Sea to Skye – By Hydrogen Power

THE journey towards building Europe’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered passenger ferry has taken a step forward, with the awarding of a contract to develop a concept for the vessel.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), one of the partners in the EU-funded HySeas III programme, has awarded the commercial contract to Aqualisbraemar LOC Group.

HySeas III is the third development stage of the research programme and will build on the first two stages by demonstrating that hydrogen fuel cells can be successfully integrated with a marine hybrid electric drive system, along with the associated hydrogen storage and bunkering arrangements.

Fuel cells of this type are currently used in road transport, and can be found in hundreds of hydrogen-fuelled buses across Europe.

READ MORE: Scotland’s green energy sector supports 22,000 jobs, new figures reveal

If successful, the project will pave the way for the first seagoing vessel to use this fuel technology.

CMAL and Aqualisbraemar LOC Group will work together on the concept design, which will be built around the requirements of a double-ended sea-going passenger and car ferry, with capacity for 120 passengers and 16 cars or two trucks.

It will be designed to operate on the route between Kirkwall and Shapinsay in Orkney, where hydrogen fuel is generated through wind power, although it will be capable of operating at other ports where hydrogen could become available in the future.

John Salton, Fleet Manager and Projects Director at CMAL, said: “The contract award represents a significant step forward in establishing a new, innovative vessel concept, and marks an important shift towards entirely emissions-free marine transport.

“Hydrogen ferries exist, but this concept is built around using hydrogen fuel cells to power a seagoing ship, the first in the UK and Europe. If successful, the next step will be to take the knowledge and know-how into building a ferry.”

Source: The National – Hannah Carmichael.


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