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Government finalizes plans for world's largest hydrogen-powered ships: 'It will be exciting to deliver something that no one has done before'

"Signing contracts for zero-emission vessels is a significant milestone."

"Signing contracts for zero-emission vessels is a significant milestone."

Photo Credit: Myklebust

Norway, a global leader in climate-driven policies, has just finalized the plans for two new hydrogen-powered ferries, making them the world's largest project of this type to date, Interesting Engineering reported

The project is a collaboration that includes the Norwegian Ship Design Company, the Torghatten Nord ferry company, and Myklebust Verft, which was contracted to build the vessels.

"We are in the process of setting the standard for a completely new class of ship, with world-class innovation [in] climate projects," said Marius Hansen, managing director of Torghatten Nord, in a translated statement.

"It will be exciting to deliver something that no one has done before us," Leiv Sindre Muren, CEO of Myklebust, further said, as reported by Interesting Engineering.

The ferries, which are scheduled to be delivered in 2026, are a big step forward for the area. Back in 2012, the fleet gained gas-powered vessels to navigate the roughly 173-mile Vestfjordstrekninga ferry route connecting the town of Bodø to islands in the Lofoten Archipelago. 

Bodø will supply locally produced 'green' hydrogen, using renewable sources to power the vessels, and the plan is to use the fuel for at least 85% of the commute, Offshore Energy reported. This is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide pollution by around 26,500 tons each year.

As detailed by Interesting Engineering, each of Norway's new ships will be about 384 feet long and can transport around 120 cars and 599 passengers. This is a big step up from other hydrogen-powered ferry endeavors like San Francisco's Sea Change vessels launched in 2023, which can only carry 75 passengers

Norway's new climate-positive projects will boost the economy in the area. Not only will they provide new jobs and training opportunities in an important and emerging sector, but they will also support the region's tourism. The dramatic natural landscapes across the Lofoten Islands make the area a popular destination.

"Signing contracts for zero-emission vessels is a significant milestone. The Norwegian Maritime Authority is pleased to see Norwegian shipping companies taking responsibility and driving forward new technologies for reducing emissions…" Alf Tore Sørheim of the Norwegian Maritime Authority noted

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