Havyard secures grant to develop new hydrogen system

Technology will enable Havila Kystruten’s new ro-pax ferries to operate emission-free for longer

Havyard secures grant to develop new hydrogen system
Some of those who will be involved in the FreeCO2ast project (Image: Havyard Group)

By Rebecca Gibson |

Norway-based Havyard Group has received a NOK104 million grant from Pilot-E to help it develop a high-capacity hydrogen energy system that can be used to power Havila Kystruten’s four new ro-pax ferries and reduce their emissions.

The funding from Pilot-E – an association formed by the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and Enova – will enable Havyard Group, its subsidiaries and research institutions Sintef Ocean and Protech to move ahead with the FreeCO2ast project.

As part of the FreeCO2ast initiative, Havyard and its partners will design a system that combines batteries and hydrogen power to enable Havila Kystruten’s four vessels to operate completely emission-free for half of the route between Bergen and Kirkenes in Norway. This will be five times longer than any other existing or planned vessel.

“With FreeCO2ast, we want to create a technology involving hydrogen and batteries that enables large vessels to sail with zero emissions over long stretches and at high speed,” said Kristian Steinsvik, head of Havyard’s research and development team. “Through this, we can offer our customers energy-efficient and environmentally friendly vessels, at the same time as we help to meet the United Nation’s goal of halving shipping emissions. And we will do it almost 30 years before the goal of 2050.”

Although the first vessel will begin service in January 2021, the system is expected to be installed and operational by the end of 2022.

“We think about the environment and have already put a lot of effort into our work to create a sustainable future, and we have already met the requirements from the authorities with good margin,” said Arild Myrvoll, CEO of Havila Kystruten. “But, we want to be at the forefront of this development and will continue to work hard. Kystruten will provide the most environmentally friendly voyage along the Norwegian coast from January 2021.”

Havyard’s product development manager Kristian Osnes will lead the FreeCO2ast project.

“It will be a challenge, but we see that the new national and international requirements will be so stringent that new technology is required to achieve the necessary emission reductions from shipping, and we know that several shipping companies have started looking for solutions,” said Osnes. “If this project succeeds, it will pave the way for a necessary technology shift where the shipping industry will contribute substantial emission cuts, and Havyard is excited to be a powerhouse in this development.”

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