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STAVANGER, Norway: May 13, 2019. The European innovation Flagships project has been awarded €5 million from the EU to support deploying two commercially operated zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vessels in France and Norway in 2021.

The project is supporting two new build 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.

“Both the EU and the shipping industry see hydrogen as a key contributor in the work to mitigate climate change. The Flagships project sets out to raise the readiness of hydrogen-powered waterborne transport to a new level globally”, said senior scientist and Project manager Antti Pohjoranta from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Norled hydrogen ferryThe project aim is that both vessels will run on hydrogen produced from renewable energy. This will not only enable truly zero-emission operation of the ships, but also create a solid basis for further local zero-emission transport deployment both at sea as well as on land.

“Norled has taken a leading role in the development of zero emission ferries. This innovation project will be an important next step when it comes to proving the maritime fuel cell technology and illustrating its business viability. By leveraging knowhow from existing onshore and marine system integration activities the project will also reduce the cost of marine fuel cell power systems significantly”, explained Norled CTO Sigvald Breivik.

Norled wants 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.

The project brings together a group of industrial partners including ship owners, fuel cell technology suppliers, experience in electrical power system design, integration and manufacturing, ship design competence and energy management excellence.

The consortium includes nine European partners, with two ship owners Norled (NO) and CFT (FR), and the maritime OEM ABB, and design company LMG Marin (NO & FR).

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