DFDS and its partners have applied for EU support to develop a ferry powered by electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell, which only emits water.
Green hydrogen is to be produced by a planned offshore wind energy-powered electrolyser plant located in Greater Copenhagen.
A group of companies have formed a partnership in order to develop a 100% hydrogen powered ferry for DFDS’ Oslo/Frederikshavn /Copenhagen route.
The ferry will be powered by electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell system that emits only water and can produce up to 23 MW.
“The largest fuel cell systems today produce only 1-5 MW, and the development of such large-scale fuel cell installations for an electric ferry is a monumental task. We can only succeed in partnerships with companies that together can muster some of the globe’s finest expertise in design, approval, building, financing and operation of innovative vessels,” said Torben Carlsen, DFDS CEO.
The consortium includes DFDS, ABB, Ballard Power Systems Europe, Hexagon Purus, Lloyd’s Register, Knud E. Hansen, Ørsted and Danish Ship Finance.
“Together, we expect to learn how to make these fuel types and technologies commercially viable, which is key to a transition of the industry to climate neutrality, which is also the ultimate goal of DFDS’ climate plan,” Carlsen added.
The partnership has applied for support from the EU Innovation Fund. As there are no ferries of this type sailing today, its development will also require public involvement. However, if the project goes ahead as projected, the ferry could be fully operational by 2027.
Hydrogen will be produced locally in Greater Copenhagen based on offshore wind, and the project will investigate how to optimally integrate this with the local energy system.
The ferry, which as the working name ‘Europa Seaways’, is designed for 1,800 pax and will have a capacity for 120 lorries or 380 cars.