The MF Hydra, a liquid hydrogen ferry project led by Norled, has begun operations in Hjelmeland, Norway, following recent system tests and sea trials. The vessel, stated to be the world’s first hydrogen ferry, has since received final approvals from the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).
“There are only two parties in the world that use liquid hydrogen as a fuel,” said Erlend Hovland, chief technology officer of Norled. “These are Norled with the MF Hydra, and then the space industry using it as fuel for launches. This says something about the giant technology leap now taken for the maritime industry. After a lot of development and testing, we are now looking forward to welcoming passengers on board for a zero-emission journey between Hjelmeland and Nesvik.”
“By putting the world’s first hydrogen ferry into operation on a Norwegian ferry connection, we are once again showing how purchasing power and good public-private partnerships can be used to develop new and groundbreaking technology,” explained Ada Jakobsen, CEO of Maritime CleanTech, which works closely with the maritime industry and encourages the use of new zero-emission technology.
“This is important if we are to achieve Norwegian and international targets for substantial emission cuts toward 2030 and 2050. When Norled once again dares to go first, it will be much easier for others to follow in the wake of the MF Hydra.”
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The MF Hydra project was led by Norled but involved a multitude of technology partners who worked on the development of the required componentry and systems.
The vessel’s hydrogen systems were supplied by Linde Engineering, while Ballard developed the fuel cells which produce electricity from hydrogen. Corvus Energy supplied the ferry’s batteries. Responsible for equipping and completing the vessel was Westcon and system integrator SEAM, which also supplied the automation scope for the hydrogen system.
“It has been an incredibly exciting, educational and challenging project,” added Hovland. “We must commend our competent cooperation partners on this journey, and not least the NPRA. They made liquid hydrogen a requirement in their tender specification, forcing the development of new technology. Together we have made history.”