Emission-free ferry heading to UNESCO World Heritage Site fjordsDecember 23, 2020
The H2CarbonCat project aims to bring Geiranger a hydrogen-powered catamaran vessel.
The H2CarbonCat project by Flakk and Brødrene Aa and with the support of Enova and the Research Council aim to develop and pilot an emission-free ferry in the Geiranger fjord. There, the vessel will transport passengers and cars.
The team behind the project is aiming to begin the vessel’s operational tests by the spring of 2023.
The project’s main R&D partner, SINTEF, will provide its transport hydrogen and battery technology knowledge base to the project. Research used will include experience from past and present projects on a national and international level. SINTEF will also be contributing its system analysis, technology development, and ship construction technology resources. It also intends to use its H2 value chain which is already under development through the Hellesylt Hydrogen Hub project. The other project partners include Gexcon and Hexagon Composites.
The purpose of the new ferry will be to operate across the Hellesylt-Geiranger fjords, which is a popular sightseeing route for locals and tourists alike. That route carried 220,570 passengers, 21,285 cars, and 4,277 buses during the 2018 season.
The researchers must still obtain the necessary operation license for the emission-free ferry testing.
The technology the researchers develop throughout this project will be made available to all participants in the project. Several players already intend to use it once it is available and will all be able to benefit from the licenses that will be obtained for its use.
The Storting, Norway’s supreme legislature, has already determined that the fjords deemed UNESCO World Heritage Sites will have only emission-free traffic as of 2026. This is an ambitious project and requires immediate action in order to meet that rapidly approaching target. According to DNV-GL, the current ferry connection crossing the fjords is responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of the total air pollution produced there.
By implementing an emission-free ferry alternative, this would mean a substantial greenhouse gas pollution from the fjords. SINTEF CEO Alexandra Bech Gjørv released a statement saying that they are proud to be a part of this project, which will create sustainable jobs through new emissions-reducing technology.