Hydrogen-powered cruise ship mooted

2017-10-14T16:44:48+00:00 October 14th, 2017|Technology|

Viking Cruises is working on a project that could lead to construction of the world’s first cruise ship with zero-emission technology – fuelled by liquid hydrogen.

The company’s project manager, Serge Fossati, told the Norwegian Maritime Authority Safety at Sea conference in Haugesund recently that the hydrogen-powered cruise ship might be modelled on the same design as Viking Cruises most recent vessel – ‘Viking Sun’.

She would be around 230 m long and accommodate more than 900 pax and a crew of 500.

Viking Cruises, which has registered several new cruise ships in the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS) would also register the hydrogen ship in the NIS, if she is built, and is already in discussions with the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

“At Viking, we have always endeavoured to look forward and to be at the forefront with regard to green shipping. As a Norwegian and with Norwegian ships, we want to lead the way to zero-emission ships through fuel cell technology. The road to that point is still long, but here at Viking we want to be ahead of the game,” said Chairman, Torstein Hagen.

Thus far, liquid hydrogen has not been used as marine fuel. Among the technical challenges is maintaining the fuel at minus 253 deg C to keep it from evaporating. A fuel cell would convert the hydrogen to electricity for propulsion and electric power on board. Hydrogen is also a very explosive gas, and protection against gas leaks is an important part of the safety requirements for the fuel.

Fossati also explained that Viking Cruises was in dialogue with Statoil in order to find a solution based on a Norwegian refinery. It also emerged that the shipping company wants to use Norwegian suppliers for the project, as far as possible.

Several bunkering ships to carry the fuel to the cruise ship will also form part of the project, the Norwegian Directorate said at the conference.