LR clears Torghatten Nord’s hydrogen ferry project

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has awarded Approval in Principle (AiP) to Norwegian shipowner Torghatten Nord for two hydrogen-powered vessels operating on Norway’s longest ferry route, Vestfjordstrekninga, connecting Bodø, Røst, Værøy and Moskenes.

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The two vessels, designed by Norwegian Ship Design, will use a minimum of 85% ‘green hydrogen’ based fuel, helping to reduce CO2 emissions on the route by an estimated 26,500 tons each year.

The two main components of the hydrogen system on board are the hydrogen storage part, feeding hydrogen to fuel cells and the fuel cells themselves, providing electric power for the propulsion and all other consumers on board.  Torghatten Nord said the company can now move to the construction stage of the ships. The ferries are scheduled to enter operation in October 2025.

The AiP follows the completion of a comprehensive risk-based HAZID certification.

“To develop hydrogen ferries on such a long and weather-exposed route is a world-class climate project with great importance for the entire maritime sector and not least Bodø and Lofoten,” Torkild Torkildsen, CEO, Torghatten Nord, said.

“The expertise of Lloyd’s Register ensures that the ground-breaking work we do in this project is based on safety, operational stability and good travel comfort for our passengers.”

“The boats that will be developed, built and operated are unmatched anywhere else in the world. We have to think anew and find completely new solutions compared to what we know today as ordinary ships. An impressive job has been done by both Lloyd’s Register and Torghatten Nord to get this Approval in Principle in place,” Gjermund Johannessen, Norwegian Ship Design CEO, said.

We have evaluated a number of different solutions for the onboard hydrogen system. and have come up with a unique and safe concept that takes hydrogen’s properties into account. What we are developing now will likely set the standard for an entire class of passenger ships powered by hydrogen.”

In January 2022 Torghatten Nord inked a contract with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to operate hydrogen-powered ferries between Bodø and Lofoten from 2025.

Under the deal,  Torghatten Nord will build two new hydrogen vessels and convert two 2012-built ferries from liquefied natural gas to low-emission solutions.

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The AiP builds on LR’s zero-carbon projects in the region, including the recent Approval in Principle for the hydrogen-fuelled bulk carrier, With Orca, which was granted in March 2022.

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To remind, With Orca will be powered by hydrogen, stored onboard in compressed form, and the hydrogen combustion engine will be optimised for increased efficiency. The vessel will also have a fuel cell system for energy production in low load conditions. The zero-emission self-discharging bulker is owned by Norwegian shipowner Egil Ulvan Rederi.

The vessel is designed by Norwegian Ship Design and the hydrogen will be supplied by Statkraft. It is scheduled to enter operation in early 2024 with a long-term transport contract with cargo owners Felleskjøpet Agri and Heidelberg Cement.