Consortium to Develop Maritime Liquid Hydrogen Supply Chain in Norway

BKK, Equinor and Air Liquide have announced a new initiative that aims to build a complete liquid hydrogen supply chain in Norway for maritime applications. The project has been awarded a grant of 33.5 million NOKs from the governmental PILOT-E scheme, whose objective is to promote rapid development and deployment of new, environment-friendly energy technology products and services.

The goal is to make liquid hydrogen available for commercial shipping within the first quarter of 2024, according to a statement from BKK, an energy and infrastructure company based in Western Norway. The project is described as encompassing the entire value chain from production, storage and transportation to end user in the maritime sector. The other project members are NCE Maritime Cleantech, NORCE, Norled, NorSea Group, Viking Ocean Cruises and Wilhelmsen.

According to BKK, 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 the 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 participate in the project as hydrogen consumers on their vessels. The hydrogen terminals will also enable supply to other types of end-users such as buses and heavy duty transport.

JannickeHilland, CEO, BKK, said in a prepared statement: “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, vice president of 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.”

Steinar Eikaas, vice president for low carbon solutions, Equinor, said: “This value chain would be a first of its kind in the world, and would be an important step in developing clean fuels for the maritime sector.”

Trond Moengen, Director of PILOT-E said: “We are happy to support an ambitious and innovative project that will be of great importance for the development towards zero-emission shipping, both in Norway and internationally. Hydrogen is one of the solutions we have great expectations for, and this project will contribute to promoting Norway’s leading position within the development of green maritime solutions.”

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