Norway’s green hydrogen ship granted €8m in EU funding

(EurActiv, 27 Oct 2020) A prototype vessel powered by zero-emission hydrogen could take to Norway’s coastal waters in a few years, ferrying cargo and delivering hydrogen supplies to strategic areas, after the EU’s research and innovation fund has doled out €8 million to the pilot project.

The good ship Topeka will run on a 1,000-kilowatt-hour battery and a specialised hydrogen fuel cell, which means the vessel would emit no greenhouse gas emissions from the moment it launches, currently scheduled for 2024.

Topeka’s designers – grouped under the HySHIP project – want the ship to fulfil two functions once at sea: it will ferry customer cargo between Norwegian ports and also deliver hydrogen sourced from clean energy to fuel bunkers along the coast. 

Norway has numerous offshore installations, mostly oil and gas platforms but soon also windfarms, that require base-to-base operations. It means that there is an established maritime services network that is ripe for decarbonisation.

“Topeka will be our first step towards scalable LH2 [liquid green hydrogen] fuelled maritime operations. We shall create a full LH2 infrastructure and commercial ecosystem, while at the same time removing yearly some 25,000 trucks from the roads,” Per Brinchmann, vice-president of special projects at Wilhelmsen, the project’s coordinators, said in a statement.

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EurActiv, 27 Oct 2020: Norway’s green hydrogen ship granted €8m in EU funding