Norled has won the tender for the world’s first hydrogen-electrical ferry. The project is a new and major step in the green shift in the maritime sector. It is also a confirmation of the NCE Maritime CleanTech cluster’s world-leading position within the development of new green maritime solutions.

Project Manager in Norled, Ivan Østvik.

The Norwegian Public Road Administration has granted Norled AS the contract and permit for operation of the ferry connection Hjelmeland – Skipavik – Nesvik in Norway with the world’s first hydrogen-electrical ferry.

The four companies in the winning consortium are all partners in the cluster collaboration NCE Maritime CleanTech; Norled, Westcon Power & Automation, LMG Marin and Prototech. The breaking news were announced during the cluster’s annual conference on November 29.

This is an important milestone for green shipping and a confirmation that the partners in NCE Maritime CleanTech are world-leading within the development of hydrogen solutions for ships, says cluster CEO Hege Økland.

Need the energy companies on board
The contract encompasses development, building and operation of a hydrogen-electric ferry where a minimum of 50 percent of the energy will be supplied by hydrogen. Per date there are no comparable hydrogen operated vessels in operation.

– I am very happy and very proud on behalf of both Norled and the cluster. The partners in the consortium has worked together for one and a half years. Together we have developed technology suitable for ferries, but the technology is also highly relevant for other ship types, says Project Manager in Norled, Ivan Østvik.

Østvik also highlighted the good cooperation with the Norwegian Maritime Authority as a prerequisite for success.

The technology chosen for the ferry is a solution with liquified hydrogen.

– We have worked closely with several suppliers for a long period of time. What we’re lacking in Norway is a supply chain for hydrogen. To accelerate the implementation of hydrogen in the maritime sector we need the energy companies on board, says Østvik.

The ferry will be in operation from April 15 2021.