PONANT and FARWIND Energy ally on renewable marine hydrogen

French cruise ship operator PONANT and compatriot startup FARWIND Energy are collaborating on innovative ship refuelling solutions with renewable hydrogen.

Courtesy of FARWIND Energy

Specifically, the companies have defined a road map to develop the production and use of renewable marine hydrogen, FARWIND said, noting that the plan is to share progress on the management of hydrogen on board and collaborate on the development of first use cases and overcoming potential technological obstacles.

According to FARWIND, PONANT’s ship program Swap2Zero to achieve carbon neutrality when in operation and FARWIND’s energy ship program will be developed in close collaboration.

Swap2Zero is the first concept of a transoceanic vessel aiming to approach, as far as state-of-the-art technology will allow, carbon neutrality for its future ships, whether sailing, manoeuvring, in port or at anchor, FARWIND claimed, adding that wind power is at the heart of the project and low-temperature fuel cells operating on liquid hydrogen for propulsion are also being studied.

As for FARWIND’s energy ship technology, it aims to produce electricity at sea from offshore wind and transform it into hydrogen by the electrolysis of seawater, FARWIND said, noting that the hydrogen can be then transported to shore to be used as a fuel, or ship refuelling can take place at sea, helping accelerate the maritime transport industry’s energy transition.

The partners have set themselves a goal to be in a position to commission the Swap2Zero project and the first energy ship at the same time by 2030, FARWIND added.

Mathieu Petiteau, Newbuilding and R&D Director at PONANT, commented: “FARWIND Energy’s hydrogen production technology has the advantage of offering hydrogen refuelling solutions in places where there are no means of production and supply.”

“This collaboration is an opportunity to jointly develop a major project that associates a ship with her own source of renewable energy produced locally. It is an unprecedented revolutionary approach that makes total sense. The Swap2Zero program is the ideal demonstrator to scale up this solution and set new standards. This technological building block will be integrated into our other areas of R&D to support our decarbonization strategy.”

Arnaud Poitou, Chairman of FARWIND Energy, stated: “We are proud to share our roadmap with PONANT, an innovative company committed to low carbon navigation. This collaboration opens up new perspectives for our highly innovative renewable energy production technology. Capable of being produced near the ship’s operating areas, our liquid hydrogen represents a promising solution to decarbonize maritime transport.”