Operating hydrogen-powered ferries in Norway will be challenging to start.
In 2021, a Norled hydrogen ferry fueled by liquid hydrogen is expected to be launched into operation in Norway. However, according to Kjell Ove Hatlem, Norled’s project manager for international transport, there are challenges of building a liquid hydrogen (H2) ferry as there are currently no production or bunker stations in Norway. In other words, there is no way to obtain thy hydrogen that is needed.
The liquid hydrogen will initially be obtained from France or Germany.
Hatlem explained that, at first, the liquid hydrogen for the Norled hydrogen ferry will be transported from France or Germany by boat or truck. The goal is to have as low a carbon transportation footprint as possible.
Hatlem added that it will take an additional three or four years after the launch of the hydrogen-powered ferry before Norway has the necessary infrastructure to generate liquid hydrogen as well as have the bunker stations set up where the company wants them, Riviera Maritime Media reports.
Moreover, the H2 that will power the ferry will be produced from renewable sources such as wind, solar or hydro power.
The Norled hydrogen ferry will provide a business opportunity for H2 production in various sectors.
“This is a business opportunity for hydrogen production, transport and bunkering,” Hatlem said, and further stated that while the ferry sector will be impacted first, hydrogen power will be used beyond this sector to other transport industries like cruise ships as well as buses and trucks.
The H2 ferry being built by Norled is the first of its kind in Norway. Although compressed hydrogen is an available and cheaper option than liquid H2 for the vessel, back in July, Hydrogen Fuel News reported that the reason the liquid version was chosen over compressed is that liquid offers four times the amount of energy compared to compressed H2 in the same space.
In addition to the hydrogen ferry, Norled will also be launching an all-electric ferry at the same time. Both ferries will be emission-free and will travel just as fast as the current ferries in operation today. Aside from where they obtain their power, the major difference between the Norled hydrogen ferry and the all-electric is that the electric version will be used for shorter distances while the hydrogen version will be used for longer distance travel.