Kongsberg Marks Launch of First Hydrogen-Based Propulsion System

Kongsberg has officially launched the world’s first zero-emissions drivetrain powered by hydrogen fuel cells made for ships and ferries, according to a press release

Kongsberg said it has proven that its hydrogen-based propulsion system is now ready to use hydrogen as an energy carrier.

This program is a part of the HySeas project, designed to demonstrate a scalable hydrogen system for sailing vessels. Funded by the EU, the project has been operational since 2013.

The company built its full-scale electric propulsion system based on hydrogen-powered fuel cells at Ågotnes in Norway.

Kongsberg will test the system further to verify the final design for an H2-powered RoPax ferry.

Geir Håøy, the president of Kongsberg, stated: “With a verified and tested hydrogen-based propulsion system, we take the next step in zero-emission solutions at sea. This project is another example of our world-leading Norwegian maritime cluster succeeding when we face the most demanding technological challenges.”

The Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre commented: “The world looks to Norway for green and sustainable solutions at sea. What Kongsberg and its partners have succeeded in achieving with this project is yet another proof of the internationally leading competence in the Norwegian maritime cluster.

“Now we have both taken the next step for solutions in Norway, and the next step for the Norwegian maritime industry to succeed in exporting hydrogen-based technology and solutions internationally,” he said.

After successfully developing and testing the new hydrogen-based propulsion system, Kongsberg will install it on a vessel that will sail from Kirkwall to Orkney and observe its performance over a four-month period. The vessel was designed by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) in Scotland.

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