Norled H2 ferry sails into operation, completing world-first achievement

Norled H2 ferry sails into operation, completing world-first achievement

April 5, 2023 0 By Angie Bergenson

Norway’s Norled has launched the world’s first liquid hydrogen-powered ferry, MF Hydra, signifying a major development in cleaner marine vessels. The 80-car ferry now operates using liquid hydrogen fuel to power two 200kW fuel cells, with diesel generators and a 1.36-1.5 MWh battery for support. The hydrogen is provided through 80 cubic-metre tanks fitted to the top of the vessel, and the project is part of Norled’s eco-friendly efforts, which started with the launch of the world’s first battery-operated ferry in 2015. The MF Hydra will offer an emission-free journey between Hjelmeland and Nesvik.

The world’s first liquid hydrogen-powered ferry is officially in operation in Norway.

On March 31st, the Norled H2 ferry broke new ground for cleaner marine vessels when it was approved for service by the Norwegian Maritime Authority, officially entering service after undergoing extensive sea trials and a pilot test at Hjelmeland quay earlier this year (2023).

The vessel uses 4 tons of liquid hydrogen.

hydrogen news ebookThe 80-car ferry, called the MF Hydra, is the first ferry in the world to operate using liquid hydrogen fuel as its primary power source. It services a triangular route in Norway between Hjelmeland, Skipavik and Nesvik.

Specifically, the Norled H2 ferry uses two 200 kW fuel cells supplied by Ballard, 4 tons of liquid hydrogen supplied by Linde Engineering in Germany, a 1.36 – 1.5 Mwh battery from Corvus Energy, and two 440 kW diesel generators. The hydrogen used by the ferry is trucked from Leipzig, Germany, and the 80 cubic meter tanks that hold the hydrogen, as well as the fuel cells, are located on top of the vessel.

Westcon and SEAM worked together to equip and complete the hydrogen ferry, with SEAM also supplying the automation scope for the hydrogen system. The vessel also received full approval by the DNV.

The launch of the Norled H2 ferry isn’t the company’s first major eco-friendly achievement.

The Norwegian shipping company is known for its innovation in the ferry transport industry. Back in 2015, Norled launched the MF Ampere, the world’s first battery-operated, propeller-driven ferry. Today, Norway has about 70 electric-powered ferries in operation.

Norled H2 Ferry - Norled's Hydrogen-powered Ferry Enters Service - Maritime Reporter TV YouTube - Image 2

Company Officials Say…

“It’s important for us to be at the forefront when it comes to technology development,” said Norled CEO, Heidi Wolden. “Investing in innovation, sustainability, and collaboration to develop new solutions is our way of taking social responsibility.”

Norled CTO Erlend Hovland added that “There are only two parties in the world that use liquid hydrogen as a fuel. These are Norled with the MF Hydra, and then the space industry using it as fuel for launches.”

Hovland said that after plenty of development and testing of the Norled H2 ferry, the company is looking forward to welcoming passengers on board the MF Hydra for an emission-free journey between Hjelmeland and Nesvik.

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