Stolt Tankers collaborates on groundbreaking hydrogen project

Stolt Tankers is one of 14 European partners collaborating on the HySHIP project for the design and construction of a revolutionary new ro-ro demonstration vessel running on liquid green hydrogen (LH2), as well as establishing a viable LH2 supply chain and bunkering platform.

HySHIP will also conduct three replicator studies, including an inland waterway tanker for the European inland waterways, a fast ferry, and a scaling-up study for deepsea vessels using a Capesize bulk carrier as the replicator.

The project aims to lower the development and operational costs of a wider move to LH2 for ship propulsion throughout Europe. The ro-ro demonstrator will be operated by the Norwegian maritime industry group Wilhelmsen and will distribute LH2 to hydrogen hubs along the Norwegian coast. It is slated to be operational from 2024.

“Hydrogen as a fuel offers the shipping industry opportunities for low, or zero-emission shipping,” explains Per Roed, Newbuilding and Technical Global Manager, Stolt Tankers.

“We are exploring several new technologies aimed at helping the industry to meet the International Maritime Organization’s goal to reduce CO2 emissions further by 2030 and hit its target for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for the industry by 2050.”

The concept vessel, named Topeka will be the first of her kind to enter commercial service. She will have a dual function, sailing on a fixed schedule carrying both coastwise customer cargo and containerised LH2 to bunkering hubs.

Norway’s west coast is dotted with bases serving many offshore industries, with base-to-base transport representing a heavy-duty transport route eminently suited to LH2. It is hoped that HySHIP will be a large-scale validation of both the ship, its innovative power system, and the distribution network.

The Topeka vessel will be built for zero-emission through a combination of 1,000 kWh battery capacity and a three-megawatt PEM (proton exchange membrane) hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen will be sourced from the new LH2 production plant planned at Mongstad, outside Bergen, Norway, by BKK, Equinor, and Air Liquide.

The project was recently awarded funding of EUR 8 million from the EU’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. The funding is subject to the signing of a grant agreement by the HySHIP partners by the end of 2020.

The HySHIP consortium partners include Wilhelmsen (NO) Kongsberg Maritime (NO), LMG Marin (NO & FR), Equinor (NO), Norled (NO), PersEE (FR), Diana Shipping (GR), Stolt-Nielsen Inland Tanker Service BV (NL), Air Liquide (FR), NCE Maritime CleanTech (NO), DNV GL, ETH Zürich (CH), Strathclyde University (UK) and Demokritos (GR).