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Tuesday, December 18, 2018 

A project to develop a hydrogen-fuelled high-speed ferry and short-sea freighter has secured funding through the PILOT-E scheme.

Hyon, a joint venture established in 2017 and wholly owned by Nel, Hexagon Composites and PowerCell Sweden, plans to realise zero-emission propulsion via fuel cells using cost-efficient hydrogen produced from electrolysis based on renewable energy.

Under Project ZEFF – Zero Emission Fast Ferry, Hyon aims to develop a fast ferry that uses foils to lift the vessel out of the water to deliver cruise speeds of between 25 and 45kts. The craft will operate without CO2, NOx, SOx and particulate matter emissions.

Hyon says the power to propulsion will be produced by fuel cells fuelled by hydrogen and batteries, requiring 45% less energy than current vessels per passenger/km.

The zero-emission coastal freighter design under the Project SeaShuttle would also utilise hydrogen and fuel cells and include autonomous cargo handling to achieve greater cost-effectiveness.

“We’re very proud to announce our participation in these projects. The projects will develop unique solutions for two very interesting maritime markets for hydrogen; the high-speed craft market and the short-sea freighter market. The award shows that Hyon with owners possess technology and competence that are attractive for the maritime market, and that the shipping industry is gaining momentum in driving green solutions, triggered by the PILOT-E scheme,” said Tomas Tronstad, Managing Director of Hyon.

The PILOT-E scheme provides funding for Norwegian trade and industry and has been launched as a collaboration between the Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova.

Final agreements for the grant will be signed early 2019, upon which the project will commence immediately thereafter.

In the development contracts, Hyon will use PowerCell as supplier of fuel cells, Hexagon as supplier of hydrogen storage tanks and Nel as supplier of the onshore hydrogen production and fuelling solutions.

Earlier this year, Hyon was the first company to receive approval-in-principle from DNV GL of their module-based fuel cell solutions.

Pictured is a Heaxagon hydrogen system.

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