Design approval for the Norwegian hydrogen-powered ROPAX

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ROPAX set to set new standards in hydrogen ship design (Torghatten Nord)

Posted on August 26, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

An ongoing design project in Norway that aims to develop the first hydrogen ferries operating over long distances and exposed to the harsh environment of the northern region has received initial design approval. Lloyd’s Register has presented the approval in principle which is seen as a major milestone in Norwegian shipping company Torghatten Nord’s efforts to introduce ferries by 2025.


“We are very pleased with the approval and we are proud to work with the best experts in hydrogen as a fuel on ships. Developing hydrogen ferries on such a long and weatherproof stretch is a world-class climate project. of great importance for the entire maritime sector and especially Bodø and Lofoten,” said Torkild Torkildsen, Managing Director of Torghatten Nord.


The shipping line is working with Norwegian Ship Design to develop the ferries that will meet the challenges of their ocean route serving the Lofoten Islands. The archipelago is located north of the Arctic Circle with the passage to the Norwegian mainland requiring a crossing of the 50 mile wide Vestfjorden.


“The ferries we are currently developing have the potential to set the standard for a new class of hydrogen-powered ferries,” said Gjermund Johannessen, managing director of Norwegian Ship Design. “We evaluated a number of different solutions for the on-board hydrogen system and came up with a unique and safe concept that takes into account the properties of hydrogen.”


The design team said that due to the unique challenges, they had to start from scratch and develop entirely new designs and solutions. LR granted the AiP based on a comprehensive risk analysis of the concept and the technology.


Norwegian Ship Design said Lloyds Register and Torghatten Nord have done a “tremendous job” of getting approval in place. They are now booming with ship design. Torghatten Nord plans to invest 40 to 45 million dollars for the equipment packages of the ships it wishes to develop in Norway. Norwegian Ship Design stresses that the hydrogen ships of the future will be different.


These pioneering vessels will build on the companies’ current plan to build a battery-powered zero-emission vessel to operate on the same route. In April, they commissioned the construction of the double-ended ferry which is expected to set new records for both battery run time and speed. Typically, the crossing from the mainland requires about an hour of operation at 13-14 knots.


The vessel, which has been ordered from the Cemre shipyard, will be 384 feet long and have a capacity of 399 passengers. The batteries will be charged by high capacity automated connections to shore power with a biodiesel generator to provide backup power to the vessels. The power and propulsion system will also be fully redundant with two independent systems so the vessel can remain operational in the event of either failure.

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