A group of companies have partnered up to develop a 100% hydrogen powered ferry for DFDS’ Oslo – Frederikshavn – Copenhagen route. The ship, called Europa Seaways, will be powered by electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell system that emits only water and can produce up to 23 MW to propel the ferry. Green hydrogen is to be produced by a projected offshore wind energy-powered electrolyzer plant in Greater Copenhagen, and the initiative will investigate how to optimally integrate with the local energy system.
The partnership committed to achieving this includes shipping company DFDS, ABB, Ballard Power Systems Europe, Hexagon Purus, Lloyd’s Register, KNUD E. HANSEN, Ørsted and Danish Ship Finance.
“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 partnerships with companies that together can muster some of the globe’s finest expertise in design, approval, building, financing and operation of innovative vessels,” said Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS. “Together, we expect to learn how to make these fuel types and technologies commercially viable, which is key to a transition of the industry to climate neutrality, which is also the ultimate goal of DFDS’ climate plan.”
The partnership has applied for support from the EU Innovation Fund. As there are no ferries of this kind in the world today, the development of the ferry will also require public involvement. However, if the project develops as projected, the ferry could be in full operation on the route as early as 2027. The ship is designed for 1,800 passengers and will have capacity for 120 trucks or 380 cars.