Shipping and logistics company GAC Norway, part of GAC Group, has joined Norwegian hydrogen energy project HyValue, as part of its commitment to sustainability and accelerating decarbonisation across the wider maritime industry.

The project is being led by NORCE, one of Norway’s largest independent research institutes, and will receive funding of NOK 15 million ($1.5 million) per year until 2030 from the Norwegian government’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

HyValue aims to develop knowledge, methodology, and innovative solutions for hydrogen energy carriers to build and support a competitive hydrogen energy sector

Research partners include Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI), Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Centre for Applied Research, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), University of Bergen (UiB), University of Stavanger (UiS), and international research partners such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Now, GAC will use its knowledge of low carbon and sustainable bunker fuels to support the HyValue initiative for the development of strategies for the storage, handling and bunkering of hydrogen in maritime applications.

It will also assist with the development of maritime logistics and supply chain mechanisms, as well as understanding regulations and financial incentives to promote hydrogen as an alternative fuel source for shipping.

“We are very happy to have GAC onboard as a user partner and look forward to working together to develop hydrogen-based solutions that will lower maritime transport sector emissions. GAC’s competency, knowledge and experience related to maritime operations will be very valuable for reaching HyValue’s goals,” Fionn Iversen, HyValue’s Centre Director, commented.

As the maritime industry continues its drive towards decarbonisation and the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, hydrogen is proving to be the alternative fuel of choice for shipowners around the world.

Hydrogen provides a greener alternative to traditional bunker fuels as it can be produced renewably from electrical energy and bio-renewable processes. It is carbon and sulphur free and will disperse organically in the event of a leak.

Hydrogen-powered ferries and smaller shipping vessels are currently in use in Europe and North America, and several major oil and gas players are investing in hydrogen production projects in Europe and Asia.

In January this year, contracts were awarded for Norway’s first full-scale hydrogen-powered ferries. Ferry company Torghatten Nord has signed a contract with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to build two new hydrogen-fuelled ferries.

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GAC Norway’s partnership with HyValue is the latest step in the wider GAC Group’s sustainability strategy, which includes a commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals and a net carbon zero future.

“GAC Bunker Fuels has pledged zero oil-based bunker sales by 1 January 2030,” said Nicholas Browne, Global Director of GAC Bunker Fuels and Head of the GAC Group’s Sustainability Working Group.

“We are proud to contribute our skills and experience at such an early stage in the development of hydrogen as a marine fuel.”

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