Norwegian shortsea liner Viasea Shipping has announced plans to build a pair of hydrogen-powered containerships.
The Moss-headquartered company, established in 2016, has secured NOK171.8m ($15.4m) in funding from Norwegian government enterprise Enova for the project.
The vessels will be deployed on Viasea’s existing routes between Norway and northern Europe.
Viasea engaged The Norwegian Ship Design Company to develop the ship concept based on scaled-up solutions of technology developed under the designation “Powered by Nature,” which the company has developed in collaboration with shipowner Egil Ulvan Rederi.
The two ships will initially operate on a combination of hydrogen and diesel, equipped with two large rotor sails, a battery pack, and a range of other energy-efficient measures.
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“We believe that advanced green hydrogen technology will revolutionise maritime transport in Europe, resulting in zero emissions. Since the founding of Viasea Shipping seven years ago, the goal has been to deliver more sustainable transport to the market. First as a greener alternative to road transport, and now with a focus on zero-emission maritime transport in Europe. This is our first step,” said Morten Pettersen, managing director at Viasea Shipping.
Hydrogen bunkering is currently planned in Norway, but as hydrogen becomes available at more locations along the planned route, the ships could be able to operate entirely without diesel. The company said that with the combination of hydrogen and diesel, CO2 emissions will be over 75% lower than with an equivalent diesel-powered ship.