World’s First Hydrogen-powered Ship to Set Sail on the Norwegian Fjords

The project is to retofit a cruise ship with hydrogen fuel cells with a capacity of 3.2MW by 2023 and battery batteries.

A Norwegian company from Bergen Norwegian Electrical Systems (NES) plans to install a 3.2 MW hydrogen fuel cell on a large cruise liner. The unit in question is currently being designed by Hayvard Design.
The vessel will be operated by Havila. It will be the largest hydrogen fuel cell ever installed on a ship, replacing the more commonly used compressed gas. In addition batteries are to be placed on the ship so that the unit can become completely emission-free.
“The 3.2MW fuel cell will allow the vessel to operate on long zero-emission voyages along the coast, and will be a real milestone in green shipping,” said Stein Ruben Larsen, Senior Vice President Sales at NES.
From 2026, fossil fuel-powered water transport along Norway’s fjords will be banned to protect local ecosystems. Already most of Norway’s energy comes from renewable sources, mainly hydroelectric power plants and, to a lesser extent, wind farms. However commercial and cruise ships still use fossil fuels, contributing to CO2 emissions.
The planned retrofit is a part of a larger project called FreeCO2act, which aims to eliminate fossil fuels from shipping under the Norwegian flag. Larger ships are to be equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, due to smaller electric storage batteries or LNG drives being insufficient. From 2021, Havila will have four vessels in its fleet along the Norwegian coast – first equipped with batteries and using LNG as fuel. Eventually they are to be hydrogen-powered.