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Wilhelmsen, NorSea Join Forces for Hydrogen

December 15, 2019

The Norwegean global maritime industry group Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA and Denmark-based supply chain manager NorSea join forces to develop liquid hydrogen supply chain for maritime applications in Norway.

The environmentally friendly liquid hydrogen can be offered to commercial shipping in large scale supply within first quarter 2024, claimed the companies.

Together with major industry players such as Equinor, Viking Cruises, Air Liquide, and more, this is a huge and important step towards a sustainable future, and it aligns perfectly with Wilhelmsen’s long-term strategy supporting the UN sustainable development goals.

The project was recently awarded a grant of NOK 33.5 million (USD 3.7 million) from the governmental PILOT-E scheme, whose objective is to promote rapid development and deployment of new, environment-friendly technology products and services.

Clean and sustainable shipping is key to reach national and international emission targets. Today, liquid hydrogen is considered as one of the optimal zero-emission fuels for ships with high energy demands. It has already been selected for Norway’s first hydrogen ferry, which will be in operation for Norled on the Hjelmeland connection starting in 2021. The consortium’s goal is to kick-start the local market with liquid hydrogen-based on electrolysis.

Furthermore, Wilhelmsen and NorSea Group will develop a new and flexible liquid hydrogen distribution concept, including Zero-emission ships for transport plus terminals at the NorSea supply bases for storage and bunkering. Norled, Wilhelmsen and Viking Ocean Cruises participate in the project as hydrogen users on their vessels. The hydrogen terminals will also enable supply to other types of end-users such as buses and heavy-duty transport.

Jannicke Hilland, CEO, BKK, said: “This is a very important day for the industry and for the maritime sector. Currently, there are ongoing hydrogen projects within the fields of cruise ships, offshore vessels, ferries and fast ferries in Norway, but in order to accelerate shipping’s transition to zero-emission solutions, we need to establish a supply chain for green hydrogen. This project, therefore, gives great potential for both industrial development and significant emission reductions.”

Lars Strandberg, VP Hydrogen Energy Europe Industries, Air Liquide, said: “Air Liquide brings to the project more than 40 years of experience in producing and distributing liquid hydrogen, safely and reliably.  Liquid hydrogen-based on renewable energy will become a competitive zero-emission option for shipping when produced at strategic locations in large volumes, and when offered through an efficient and secured supply chain. The project aims to facilitate the efficient and secured supply chain to make this transition happen”.  

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