Illustration of the new ferry for Torghatten Nord (Source: Norwegian Ship Design)

Norway’s Torghatten Nord opts for fuel cells

The Norwegian ferry firm, Torghatten Nord, has ordered hydrogen fuel cells from PowerCell Sweden for two ferries that will operate on the country’s longest ferry route in the north, across the Vestfjorden between Lofoten and Bodø.

PowerCell will work closely with the Norwegian systems developer and integrator of low- and zero-emission systems in shipping, SEAM, to provide electrical installations producing about 6 MW of power for each vessel. The fuel cell systems will enable the two ships to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26,500 tonnes a year, equivalent to the annual emissions of 13,000 cars running on diesel fuel.

The new ferries, which will be powered principally by green hydrogen and have capacity for 120 cars and 599 passengers, are due to be commissioned in October 2025 as replacements for existing fossil-fuelled vessels. They are part of a Norwegian Government plan to make all ferries on the demanding four-hour crossing emissions-free.

PowerCell CEO, Richard Berkling, said: "This is a groundbreaking project, not just for PowerCell or Norway, but for the entire marine industry, and one that we are very happy and proud to be part of. Norway led the development of the introduction of liquefied natural gas in the marine industry, and now the country is taking an important step to establish green hydrogen as a clean energy source for our hard-to-abate sector. Our solutions are perfectly suited for demanding applications where operational reliability, high power density, and compact format are important parameters.

"The transition to electrification and emission-free energy is accelerating," Berkling continued, "and is supported by supranational initiatives such as the EU's Green Deal and the large-scale investments to reach the Paris Agreement. In Norway alone, there are roughly 800 ferry lines, and ferries are a segment where we can expect great interest in hydrogen-electric solutions. Starting next year, the maritime sector will be included in the EU Emissions Trading System, which will increase the demand for net-zero, hydrogen-powered solutions."

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore