Vestas to test hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel at Norther offshore wind farm

Vestas, in collaboration with Windcat Workboats, is launching a pilot programme to explore how a hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel (CTV) can help reduce carbon emissions from offshore service operations.


Developed by Windcat Workboats and its sister company CMB.Tech, who recently said this was the world’s first hydrogen-powered CTV, the vessel features dual-fuel engines supplied by MAN Engines and is capable of being powered by hydrogen in combination with marine gas oil.

The solution will be tested at the Norther offshore wind farm, located in the Belgian North Sea, and is planned to launch on 15 July and run until the end of the year.

Vestas said that the programme will offer the company the chance to explore the most scalable approaches to incorporate hydrogen into its operational setup.

The goal of the trial will be to collect insights into the opportunities and limitations of hydrogen-powered vessels in daily operations.

“Hard to abate sectors, such as shipping, will be the final frontier in our global journey towards decarbonisation. Hydrogen is a crucial technology to advance this journey, which is why Vestas is eager to test its potential to reduce emissions from our service operations,” said Christian Venderby, Executive Vice President, Service at Vestas.

According to Vestas, the new CTV holds the potential to generate CO2 savings of 158 tonnes, an estimated saving of 37 per cent fewer carbon emissions in comparison to a traditional vessel, which is expected to be validated during the pilot programme.

The vessel, named Hydrocat 48, will initially be powered mostly by grey hydrogen due to a lack of available green hydrogen in the amounts needed, said Vestas.

The wind turbine OEM said that through the pilot it aims to mature a pathway for green hydrogen in its offshore operations that can be leveraged once green hydrogen has reached the required level of maturity.

By using dual fuel combustion engines, we can make hydrogen technology operational in the industry and kick-start further development of the technology, regulation, supply chain, etc. Collaborations like these are what is needed to be able to scale this technology further and we thank Vestas for taking this first step“, said Willem van der Wel, Managing Director of Windcat Workboats.