Myklebust Verft

Norwegian shipyard to build the ‘world’s largest’ hydrogen-powered ships

Norwegian shipyard Myklebust Verft has been selected to build two hydrogen-powered ferries ordered by compatriot transport company Torghatten Nord. Once delivered, the newbuilds will be ‘the world’s largest’ hydrogen-powered ships and will be bunkered with hydrogen produced in Bodø.

Courtesy of Myklebust Verft

Designed by The Norwegian Ship Design Company to operate in the challenging waters of the Vestfjordstrekninga fjord in the Arctic Circle, the ships are scheduled for delivery in 2026.

“We are delighted to be working with Myklebust Verft on this project, as together with our partners we set the standard for a completely new class of ship that reduces emissions and supports sustainable operations. This project is a significant boost for the Norwegian technology and shipyard environment and we are proud to make it happen in Norway,” Marius Hansen, Managing director, Torghatten Nord, commented.

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The two vessels are set for Lloyd’s Register (LR) class following approval in principle (AiP) awarded in August 2022.

“We are delighted that Myklebust Verft has been selected to build these innovative, large-scale hydrogen-powered ferries, showcasing Norway’s level of expertise and ambition and augmenting its maritime hydrogen power infrastructure. We look forward to developing our relationship with Lloyd’s Register as we partner on these complex newbuilds,” Leiv Sindre Muren, CEO, Myklebust Verft, stated.

“I would like to congratulate Torghatten Nord and Myklebust Verft on an important agreement for the Norwegian maritime industry… The agreement shows that Norwegian shipyards are competitive, and it will contribute to building more expertise in zero-emission solutions,” John-Ivar Nygård, Transport Minister, pointed out.

At 117 meters long with a 120-car capacity, the duo will be the world’s largest hydrogen-powered ships, operating on green hydrogen at least 85% of the time.

Operating at an average speed of 17 knots in often challenging conditions, the vessels will navigate the 278km-long Vestfjordstrekninga ferry route connecting Bodø, the islands of Røst and Værøy, and Moskenes.

A hydrogen storage unit onboard the vessel will feed gas to the fuel cells, creating electricity to propel the vessels and power their auxiliary systems, reducing CO2-emissions on the route by around 26,500 tons each year.

The alternative fuel newbuilds with biodiesel backup, bring together LR as the class society, owner Torghatten Nord, The Norwegian Ship Design Company, Myklebust Verft shipyard, systems integrator SEAM, and hydrogen supplier GreenH.

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“These flagship hydrogen-powered ferries represent a significant milestone for Norway as it furthers its continuing commitment to clean hydrogen infrastructure. We see significant interest in green hydrogen as a maritime fuel especially for short-sea shipping and look forward to working with our Norwegian customers —Torghatten Nord, Myklebust Verft and The Norwegian Ship Design Company — to ensure this innovative project is progressed with safety, reliability and sustainability at its core,” Nick Brown, CEO, LR, said.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority will flag the two vessels.

“Signing contracts for zero-emission vessels is a significant milestone. The Norwegian Maritime Authority is pleased to see Norwegian shipping companies taking responsibility and driving forward new technologies for reducing emissions, and that they have competent partners to assist them in this endeavour. We look forward to collaborating with LR, the shipping company, and suppliers towards the certification and commissioning of the vessels,” Alf Tore Sørheim, Acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Norwegian Maritime Authority, noted.

“We are excited to finally start building the two hydrogen ferries for Torghatten Nord and look forward to continuing our good collaboration with Torghatten Nord and Myklebust Verft. These hydrogen ferries are unmatched by any other ferries in the world today, with the largest hydrogen installations in a ship ever by a substantial margin. We have developed a unique hydrogen concept using hydrogen’s physical properties for achieving optimal safety. We believe hydrogen will play an important role for zero-emission short-sea shipping. Through close and fruitful collaboration with Torghatten Nord and their technical team from tender and during all development stages, the project is now more than ready to welcome the well-respected shipyard Myklebust Verft onto the project,” Gjermund Johannessen, CEO, The Norwegian Ship Design Company, concluded.