Five of the cluster partners in NCE Maritime CleanTech are cooperating to develop a zero emission fast ferry concept for both battery and hydrogen operation.

In December the ferry concept ZeFF (Zero Emission Fast Ferry) was awarded 10.5 MNOK from the public support scheme PILOT-E. All partners behind the concept are members of the NCE Maritime CleanTech cluster; Norled, Selfa Arctic, LMG Marin, Hyon and Servogear.

ZeFF will be developed in a battery version for shorter routes and a hydrogen version for longer routes.

– We built the world’s first electrical ferry and we will build Norway’s first hydrogen ferry. As a leading operator of fast ferries, a concept that allow us to operate all passenger sea routes in Norway with zero emissions is a necessary and important next step for us, says Sigvald Breivik, Technical Director in ferry operator Norled.

Different versions of the vessels will be developed in accordance with length and capacity requirements for the various routes.

– The concept will be developed in a battery version for shorter routes and a hydrogen version for longer routes. The project that has received funding will also cover development of the supply chains needed for shore power and hydrogen, says Ivan Østvik, Project Manager in Norled.

Political ambitions for zero emission

Today fast ferries represent one percent of the oil consumption in Norway, which amounts to 86 million litre petroleum per year. In the course of a ten-year period the aim is to eliminate the emissions from these vessels completely. ZeFF is amongst the projects that will accelerate the development of the solutions required to reach this target.

– The Norwegian Parliament has decided that car ferries and fast ferries shall become zero emission, but today the technology isn’t ready to achieve this target on longer distances or high-speed routes. We have now received funding to develop technology but there is still some work to do, says Erik Ianssen, founder and CEO of ship building company Selfa Arctic.

ZeFF will operate at a speed of 25-45 knots and have foils that lift the vessel out of the water to reduce hull resistance.

During 2019 the actors will develop, validate, analyse and get approval for all parts of the concept. The vessel shall be market ready in 2020.

About PILOT-E:
PILOT-E is a cooperation between Innovation Norway, The Norwegian Research Council and Enova. It was started in 2015 to accelerate the green shift by accelerating the development from idea to market. PILOT-E coordinates the available financial support schemes to give improved predictability closer follow-up and stronger coordination.