Sweden to get 1st large-scale hydrogen-powered vessel by 2030

Passenger shipping company Rederi AB Gotland and its subsidiaries are developing Sweden’s first large-scale hydrogen-powered vessel for both passengers and freight, with water as the only emission.

hydrogen-powered vessel
Courtesy of Gotland Horizon

The company and its subsidiaries Destination Gotland and Gotland Tech are working on the project named Gotland Horizon which aims to enable emission-free crossings at Sweden’s largest island Gotland as early as 2030.

Specifically, the project partners seek to design ships powered by fossil-free hydrogen with gas turbines in combination with steam turbines. As described, the multi-fuel gas turbines will be prepared to handle other types of fossil-free fuels in step with technological development and the availability of various fuels.

“We are proud to be able to present our future ship project today to reduce emissions to zero, Gotland Horizon. We are convinced that technological development will enable emission-free shipping, and our work to develop a concept for an emission-free vessel is a very important part of being able to create a climate-neutral Gotland traffic”, said Håkan Johansson, CEO of Rederi AB Gotland.

Marcus Risberg, CEO of Destination Gotland, said: “When CO2 emissions are priced for shipping, and new requirements and regulations come into place, it will become increasingly expensive to run on fossil fuels. An important development to bring about climate change. It, therefore, feels very good that we can be involved in leading the change, and enable a fossil-free crossing for all Gotland travellers”.

Rederi AB Gotland, the leading company of the project, has the ambition to order a zero-emission ship as early as 2025 to be able to enter into ferry line Destination Gotland’s traffic by 2030.

Reder’s Gotland Tech Development aims to run projects within the framework of shipping change. The project partners are working towards building the ship with materials produced with the least possible climate impact, while at the same time being operated completely without emissions.

The ultimate goal is that traffic to and from Gotland remains at the same speed and service but without negative emissions.

At the same time, Rederi AB Gotland is participating, through Gotland Tech Development, in a new research project led by researchers from Uppsala University with the aim of developing and ensuring sustainable solutions for hydrogen in Gotland’s ferry traffic.

Researchers hope to present a fossil-free solution for ship propulsion and to develop a reliable supply chain of hydrogen for Gotland traffic. The abovementioned vessel, Gotland Horizon, will be used as a concrete basis for the work.

The project’s goal is to introduce a complete, sustainable and reliable system for fossil-free hydrogen that will be implemented by 2030 and will thereby study the entire supply chain from electricity production to propellers.

Meanwhile, Norwegian shipping company Northern Xplorer recently unveiled what it claims to be the world’s first hydrogen-powered zero-emission cruise ship concept. As disclosed, the company’s plan includes a series of 14 ships intended to be operational from 2024/2025.

The ships will feature clean technologies including fully electric propulsion, battery energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells and auxiliary renewable energy supply (wind and solar power).

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