The European innovation project FLAGSHIPS has been awarded 5 million euros from the European Union to build and deploy two commercially operated zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vessels, one in Lyon, France, and one in Stavanger, Norway. In Lyon, a hydrogen push-boat operated by Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT) will serve as a utility vessel on one of its most demanding rivers, the Rhône. In Stavanger, hydrogen is intended to power a passenger and car ferry operated by Norled as part of the local public transport network.
“FLAGSHIPS is a key project to demonstrate the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in the maritime sector: lower CO2 and pollutant emissions and reduced noise amongst the most critical. The project will cooperate with relevant organization such as CESNI, IMO and certification bodies to speed up the introduction of hydrogen for the maritime sector both for inland and coastal operations and for freight and passenger transportation”, says Bart Biebuyck, Executive Director of the FCH2 JU.
Green and sustainable shipping is a prerequisite for reaching national and international emission reduction targets. With increasing pressure for shipping to reduce harmful emissions, fuel cells and hydrogen are key technologies in providing a sustainable transportation option for the international shipping industry.
This innovation project will look at the possibility to replace biodiesel with hydrogen on one of the ferries to be built for the Finnøy-route north east of Stavanger. The route serves several islands with short and several stops, which makes it difficult to realize the effective shore charging required for battery-powered vessels. Norled’s intention is to apply the hydrogen technology being developed by the company in several other ongoing hydrogen-related projects, such as building the world’s first ship powered by liquid hydrogen for the Hjelmeland connection in Western Norway.
An important part of the project will also be the building of European support networks covering hydrogen fuel supply chains, vessel design and manufacturing competence networks as well as significantly broad-based regulatory expertise.
The funds awarded to the FLAGSHIPS project have been granted from EU’s Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020 under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. In addition to the project funding, significant additional investment to build the ships is made by the ship owners CFT and Norled as well as the consortium partners.
Source: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking