A project named SeaShuttle has secured €15m (US$15.8m) in funding from Norwegian state enterprise ENOVA. The project will see two hydrogen-powered, remotely controlled and autonomous-ready containerships being built for delivery by 2025.
The scheme, led by multimodal transportation and logistics group Samskip and marine robotics company Ocean Infinity, will see the pair of SeaShuttle ships serve a route between Oslo Fjord and Rotterdam, each powered by a 3.2MW hydrogen fuel cell for emission-free sailing.
Announced in April 2022, the partnership between Samskip and Ocean Infinity covers the construction and the operation of both ships. Through the collaboration the duo aims to accelerate a transition toward zero-emission, efficient and safe multimodal logistics.
By securing the necessary funding, the partners can now contract two new 500TEU ships which feature a main propulsion solution capable of operating on hydrogen fuel. A diesel electric propulsion plant will also be installed on board as a backup system.
“Samskip is very proud to take the lead role in pioneering the SeaShuttle initiative, as part of its ‘making green logistics easy’ strategy,” said Are Gråthen, CEO, Samskip Norway. “Securing this funding provides a platform to make emissions-free container shipping a reality. Together, Samskip and Ocean Infinity will also accelerate their plans to advance autonomous ship technologies and remote operation of ships and cargo handling equipment. These ships are the first part of an exciting collaboration with Ocean Infinity.”
“Ocean Infinity’s enabling technologies can facilitate green corridors but also the broader decarbonization and transformation of maritime operations,” commented Christoffer Jorgenvag, CCO, Ocean Infinity. “The emphasis today is on the SeaShuttle vessels, which are just part of Ocean Infinity’s overall strategy of unlocking innovation to deliver truly sustainable maritime operations. We would like to thank Enova for their support for our vision which represents a firm endorsement of our ground-breaking approach and allows us to proceed at full speed in bringing this project to life.”
Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, Group CEO, Samskip, added, “For Samskip, sustainability is one of the fundamentals of doing business. The SeaShuttle project is a substantial step in Samskip’s journey toward zero-emission logistics. Its combination of fuel, technology and operational best practice is expected to make emissions-free shortsea shipping cost competitive with existing solutions.”