NCE Maritime CleanTech continues to travel the world with its cluster members to promote clean maritime solutions. The next destination is Washington, a US state with ambitious plans to cut emissions in public transport.

Washington state is the home of many large ports and a significant amount of short sea traffic.

Washington state, located on the Pacific shore in the upper western corner of the United States, is the home of many large ports and a significant amount of short sea traffic. The largest city is Seattle, a sister city to Bergen, where many of the partners in NCE Maritime CleanTech are located. In the same region we find the Canadian seaport Vancouver, with one of the busiest and most diversified ports in the Americas.

– In other words, the potential is large when it comes to electrifying transport on water and developing more energy efficient port operations in the region. We look forward to meetings with local authorities and maritime industry actors to better understand their needs. We think we will find projects where cluster members can contribute with their experience in green energy systems, light-weight materials and smart production methods, says head of the delegation and Project Manager Innovation in NCE Maritime CleanTech, Pål G. Eide.

A market for zero and low emissions maritime Technologies
The Norwegian maritime industry are invited by the Washington State and the Norwegian Embassy, to meet the local shipping industry in Seattle on May 3-4. The NCE Maritime CleanTech cluster recently conducted similar visits with cluster companies to India, Singapore and Canada. The aim is to investigate opportunities for smart and green technologies for the ocean industries and to demonstrate the Norwegian maritime industry’s expertise within this area. The first full-electric ferry in Norway was commissioned in 2015.

– All over the world there is a huge interest in what we have achieved along the Norwegian coast. Many countries and regions are particularly interested in how we in such a short time have established a market for zero and low emissions maritime technologies in close co-operation with local and national authorities. Ambitious politicians and governmental funding boost technology development and help speed up the green transition, Eide states.

From electric streetcars to electric ferries
Seattle is no stranger to electric transport. The city was among the first in the US with streetcars powered by electricity in the late 18th century. Now time has come to electrify the waterways.

During the Seattle trip, the Norwegian delegation will visit local authorities, shipyards and suppliers, shipowners and ports. One of the many important meetings will be with Governor of State, Jay Inslee. Last December the Governor launched the Washington Maritime Blue 2050 initiative, the first of its kind in the US to bolster innovations in the maritime sector. Washington State is also heading a coalition of 15 states and territories committed to reaching the climate goals of the Paris agreement.

The Norwegian delegation will also pay a visit to Washington State Ferries. The public transport company recently launched a $50 million program to convert diesel ferries to a more environmentally friendly alternative. The aim is to significantly cut emissions, improve reliability and reduce operating costs by 14 million USD. It will also eliminate engine noise, which is a challenge for the famous orca whales in the region.

– In Norway there are 60 electric or battery hybrid ferries currently under planning and several ongoing hydrogen technology innovation projects within ferries, cruise and high-speed passenger vessels. This means that we can enter new markets with proven technology and confidence. Norwegian maritime industry is well positioned to win contracts in the growing market for green short sea shipping in North America and anywhere in the world, Eide says.