World’s first hydrogen-powered bulk carrier receives Enova funding

Norwegian shipping company Egil Ulvan Rederi, compatriot agricultural cooperative Felleskjøpet AGRI and German building materials company HeidelbergCement have received NOK 100 million ($11.3 million) in support from Norwegian government enterprise Enova to build the “world’s first zero-emission bulk carrier”.

Courtesy of Statkraft

“Enova supports tomorrow’s climate technology. This is a comprehensive and well-worked project with a high level of innovation, which can accelerate fleet renewal in this segment,” Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova, commented.

“We have now passed a new milestone in the transition to zero emissions in shipping. Innovative collaboration between product owners, future-oriented energy companies, and an innovative and competitive green maritime industry shows the world that zero emissions for cargo ships are possible. Here, Enova is helping to realize a new era for short sea shipping,” Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Climate and Environment, said.

The self-discharging bulker, With Orca, is scheduled for completion and commissioning in 2024.

The plan is to transport aggregates products for HeidelbergCement and grain for partner Felleskjøpet from West Norway to East Norway, and vice versa, using emission-free transport.

In 2021, a tender competition was conducted where Egil Ulvan Rederi in Norway was selected as the operator that will build the vessel. The ship will be highly energy-efficient, and will have Flettner rotor sails and a streamlined design to reduce energy consumption.

The cargo ship will be equipped with a hydrogen combustion engine, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell and battery, to ensure optimal operation during loading and unloading operations.

Another innovative measure is the use of technology for the conversion of heat loss by energy conversion into electrical energy. This is a technology that has been used in land-based industry, but which is not widespread onboard ships.

Last month, Egil Ulvan Rederi secured approval in principle (AIP) from maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) for its zero-emission hydrogen-fueled bulk carrier.

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Providing bunkering solution for green hydrogen

Norwegian companies Statkraft and Skagerak Energi have been awarded NOK 14 million in support to develop the green hydrogen bunkering solution for the world’s first zero-emission bulk carrier.

Statkraft and Skagerak Energi are working with container-swapping as a primary bunkering solution for bulk and containerships. Compressed green hydrogen will be stored in exchangeable containers.

Specifically, hydrogen will be stored in compressed form in swappable containers, and bunkering will take place by empty containers being lifted off the ship and replaced with full ones.

“This is necessary infrastructure for a hydrogen-powered vessel and therefore in line with Enova’s investment in the maritime sector,” Nakstad added.

The solutions in this project will be relevant for both near coastal shipping, and to some extent larger cargo vessels, according to Enova.

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