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SAMSKIP TO LEAD NORWAY’S NEXT SUSTAINABLE SHORTSEA SHIPPING

Friday, December 21, 2018 

Samskip, which says it is Europe’s largest multimodal operator, has been named lead partner in ‘Seashuttle’, a project seeking to bring emissions-free, autonomous, profitable container ships to market.

The announcement coincides with the award of €6 million of Norwegian government money to Project SeaShuttle to take forward development of two all-electric ships slated to connect Poland, Swedish west coast ports and the Oslo fjord. The vessels will draw on hydrogen fuel cells for their propulsion power.

Seashuttle is one of six initiatives included in ‘PILOT-E’, a €100 million-plus scheme involving the Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova, aiming to bring solutions for the climate-neutral industries of the future to market more quickly. Seashuttle funding came from four Norwegian ministries (Food and Fishing; Climate and Environment; Petroleum and Energy; and Transport and Communications).

“Samskip is delighted to take the lead in the project to develop next generation sustainable shortsea shipping,” said Are Grathen, MD Samskip Norway. “What distinguishes this project and will be key to its success is the combination of fuel and technology that will make it cost competitive with existing solutions. With our trusted project partners, we are convinced that such ambitions are realistic.”

Other Seashuttle partners include logistics consultant FlowChange, technology group Kongsberg Maritime, hydrogen integrator HYON and Massterly, a Kongsberg Maritime/Wilhelmsen venture developing autonomous vessel solutions.

"Green shipping is a sector where Norway can be world leader in new and green technology,” said Anita Krohn Traaseth, CEO, Innovation Norway. “The conversion is underway, for example with many electric ferries. This year's PILOT-E awards show that there are exciting plans to make shipping more environmentally friendly."

Final Seashuttle ports of call are yet to be determined, but it is already known that the fuel cell technology will convert hydrogen into power for propulsion in a process where electrolysis is envisaged as taking place in a Norwegian port. For the moment, the project envisages zero emissions during 20% of a round trip between Poland and the Oslo Fjord – sufficient for all operations in Norwegian waters. That proportion will grow as more stations fill hydrogen along the route. 

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