Hydrogen ferry begins operations in Japan

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A catamaran ferry delivered by Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi Facilities and Craft (TFC) featuring  dual-fuel engines capable of running on hydrogen has begun operations within the Seto Inland Sea in Japan.

The aluminum-hulled vessel, named the HydroBingo, features two hydrogen-diesel engines, capable of producing 441kW each at a maximum speed of 26kts, with a normal cruising speed of around 18-22kts.

A mobile hydrogen storage trailer sits at the stern and has been designed to supply hydrogen to the dual-fuel engines via a double-walled pipeline. This is separate to the fuel line that connects the engines to the diesel tanks.

It is possible for the storage trailer to be unloaded and brought to a compressed hydrogen station before being loaded back onto the ferry. The fuel system was designed to eliminate the need for complicated and limited-use hydrogen bunkering facilities in ports on the ferry’s routes. TFC says that the ferry is the first purpose-built small passenger vessel in the world to be powered by hydrogen.

A CO2 -reduction system, developed by CMB.TECH, has also been fitted to ensure the vessel’s CO2 emissions are 50% less than similar-sized diesel passenger vessels.

Operated by JPN H2YDRO, the 80-passenger ferry was designed and built-in compliance to dual-fuel ship design standards under the IMO’s International Code of Safety for ships using gases or other low-flashpoint fuels.

The vessel recently completed sea trials out of the Tokuyama-Kudamatsu Port in Yamaguchi prefecture in southwestern Japan and has since begun serving shuttle routes in the Seto Inland Sea where it has replaced an older ferry.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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