Ferry company Norled AS and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration signed an agreement on Tuesday for the construction of the world’s first hydrogen-electric ferry.

The newbuilding is expected to become operational in 2021, connecting the national road 13 between Hjelmeland – Skipavik – Nesvik in Rogaland.

The zero-emission ferry will be able to carry 299 passengers and 80 cars.

Norled won the development contract in competition with Fjord 1 and Boreal. The contract includes the development, construction and operation of the hydrogen-electric ferry where at least 50 percent of the energy requirement is covered by hydrogen.

“On behalf of Norled, I am both proud and humble to be a part of this pioneer project. We are looking forward to cooperating on another development project initiated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. This represents a green historical turning point for both Norled and the rest of the maritime sector,” Ingvald Løyning, Chairman, Norled, commented.

“The concept of the new hydrogen ferry is clear. In front of us, both development work and detailed planning await. I am confident that Norled will deliver a new innovative product that will be a green milestone with success for all parties involved,” Løyning added.

“Hydrogen will be the last piece to get zero emissions in the ferry sector. Hydrogen is the solution where electric operation alone is not possible,” Terje Moe Gustavsen, Director in the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, said.

Norway is said to be the world leader in zero and low emission technology. The Roads Director believes that players have a good starting point when next hydrogen projects are launched around the world.

Zero emissions in the ferry sector result in an emission reduction of 600,000 tons of CO2 each year.

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