Lithuania: Construction starts on first hydrogen-electric ship (Gallery)

The construction of Lithuania’s first hydrogen-electric ship has begun at Western Baltija Shipbuilding (WBS).

As informed, a keel-laying ceremony for this ship, which is designed for waste management, was held on June 21, 2024.

The tanker will be 42 meters long and 10 meters wide, with a capacity to collect 400 cubic meters of liquid waste.

It will be equipped with two electric motors powered by batteries with a capacity of 2000 kWh and an installed on-board hydrogen fuel cell system.

Depending on the intensity of work, the ship will be able to operate within the Port of Klaipeda for up to 36 hours on a single charge, according to the port.

The hull, superstructure, and wheelhouse will be constructed at the Western Baltija Shipbuilding at the Port of Klaipeda, along with the installation of cargo systems and other works.

According to the port, the main challenge for the shipbuilders is to design and build a ship for the collection of oily bilge water, sewage, sludge, and other waste.

It will need to be equipped with waste collection tanks and an oily bilge water treatment plant that will treat the waste waters and transfer everything along with the sewage to the city’s onshore wastewater treatment plant. 

Estonian company Baltic Workboats is responsible for the installation of the main and auxiliary machinery and the harmonization and testing of all the ship systems. The hydrogen fuel cell system will also be installed in Estonia.

“The Port Authority has undertaken very ambitious projects in recent years. In a couple of years, the company will become the first one in Lithuania not only to produce green hydrogen, but also to have a hydrogen-powered ship. It will also clean other ships entering the port by collecting waste from them without leaving an environmental footprint. We are proud that a new, modern, and environmentally friendly tanker is being built not somewhere abroad, but here in Lithuania, at the Port of Klaipeda,” said Algis Latakas, Director General of the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority.

“First of all, we are building an advanced ship for our own country, Lithuania, which is an honour and a great commitment and responsibility. We are also implementing the project together with our Estonian partners, and this cooperation once again demonstrates a strong business partnership between the two countries,” stated Arnoldas Šileika, CEO of the Western Shipyard (WSY) Group of Companies, which owns the subsidiary Western Baltija Shipbuilding.

“The project is a great milestone for the Baltic Workboats and we are extremely satisfied to be able to deliver such a modern ship to our Baltic neighbors in Klaipeda. It will be the first tanker type vessel ever built with Baltic Workboats participation and in addition to electric propulsion solution in which Baltic Workboats has extensive expertise it will be the first vessel to be fitted with hydrogen power plant in Baltic Workboats portfolio,” commented Jüri Taal, Management Board Member of Baltic Workboats.

This shipbuilding project with a total value of €12 million has been commissioned by the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority and is being built by Baltic Workboats under a joint operating agreement with Western Baltija Shipbuilding.

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The ship is expected to sail in the waters of the Port of Klaipeda at the end of next year.