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Marine Science



Hydrogen powered coastal vessels project recieves grant. The Havyard project with Havila Kystruten on hydrogen-powered coastal route operations will receive over NOK 100 million in funding from Pilot-E. The initiative can result in vessels with up to five times longer zero-emission voyages than other existing or planned vessels.

In Pilot-E, the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and Enova have joined forces to solve some of society’s biggest problems. One of two topics for 2018 was ‘Zero-emissions maritime transport 2.0’, and the Havyard – Zero-Emission ROPAX Vessel project was awarded a total of NOK 104.3 million.

Pilot-E has stated that, with this, Havyard ASA is managing a project with ambitions to achieve zero-emission operations in the World Heritage Fjords and along parts of the new coastal route’s ordinary route, by combining batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.

Green technology shift

For several years, Havyard Group has been engaged in systematic development work and digitalisation to create greener vessels with ever decreasing energy consumption and environmentally harmful emissions. Now they have taken this work a big step further through the project FreeCO2ast. Kristian Steinsvik, head of Havyard’s R&D work, says that the project aims to develop a high-capacity hydrogen energy system and to start using it on board one of Havila Kystruten’s coastal route vessels.

‘This way, we can create the most environmentally friendly vessel on the Norwegian coast, and the project may also result in a technology shift in sea transport. Never before have had so many big vessels crossed such long distances with zero emissions as projected in our current plans.’

With hydrogen energy, Kystruten’s vessel can sail half the coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes without any emissions whatsoever. This means that the voyage through UNESCOS’s World Heritage Fjords will be totally emission-free.

The system will be installed on board and be in operation by the end of 2022.

‘With FreeCO2ast, we want to create a technology involving hydrogen and batteries that enables large vessels to sail with zero emissions over long stretches and at high speed. Through this, we can offer our customers energy-efficient and environmentally friendly vessels, at the same time as we help to meet the UN’s goal of halving shipping emissions. And we will do it almost thirty years before the goal of 2050!’

CEO Geir Johan Bakke says FreeCO2AST are in accordance with Havyard’s vision of changing the industry and the goal is also to change Havyard as a company.

‘Today, I am both proud and happy for all these skilled and motivated people we have in Havyard. We are at the forefront of the green shift, and the Pilot-E project and other new projects we develop in Havyard are proof of it.

The most environmentally friendly voyage

Havyard Group is drawing on the electrical, automation and shipbuilding expertise of the whole group in the project, from Norwegian Electric Systems, Havyard Design & Solutions to Havyard Ship Technology. The research institutions Sintef Ocean and Protech are also partners in the project.

‘Most importantly, however, we have a customer, Havila Kystruten, that wants this and is not afraid to take a chance.

Havila Kystruten has the world’s biggest battery packs and a design that results in energy-efficient vessels, but CEO of Havila Kystruten, Arild Myrvoll, says that it is important to always keep evolving.

‘We think about the environment and have already put a lot of effort into our work to create a sustainable future, and has already met the requirements from the authorities with good margin. But, we want to be at the forefront of this development and will continue to work hard. Kystruten will provide the most environmentally friendly voyage along the Norwegian cost from January 2021.

Ground-breaking new technology

Product Development Manager of Havyard Group, Kristian Osnes, will be FreeCO2ast’s project manager. He is ready to get to grips with the project, which will start using new technology and break new ground in zero emissions. At the same time, the hydrogen market, the hydrogen supply logistics system and the regulations for the solutions must also be developed.

‘It will be a challenge, but we see that the new national and international requirements will be so stringent that new technology is required to achieve the necessary emission reductions from shipping, and we know that several shipping companies have started looking for solutions. We are very lucky to have a customer like Havila Kystruten and the support of Pilot-E, which enable us to be among the first to go down this road.’

The emission requirements in the Norwegian tenders for new ferries have led to speedy developments in battery technology, but sailing long distances with such vessels demands so much energy that hydrogen is one of few available solutions.

‘If this project succeeds, it will pave the way for a necessary technology shift where the shipping industry will contribute substantial emission cuts, and Havyard is excited to be a powerhouse in this development.’