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To the fjords! With hydrogen...

The world’s first cruise ship to be powered by a liquid hydrogen fuel cell is to be brought into service in Norway by 2023, according to shipowner Havila.

 The vessel will combine a 3.2 MW fuel cell, the largest fuel cell ever placed on a major ship, with batteries to store additional energy to make the system fully emissions-free. The vessel is being designed for Havila by Havyard Design.

Creating a hydrogen-powered cruise ship with zero emissions will enable tourists to visit Norwegian fjords that by 2026 will be off limits to vessels with any carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Many fjords are included on UNESCO’s world heritage list.

Electricity in Norway is generated mainly from wind and hydroelectric sources, but commercial ships using fossil fuels, mainly compressed gas, pollute coastal areas.

According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), shipping is causing 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union says the sector is responsible for some 13% of the bloc’s emissions in the transport sector.

The vessel being is part of Havyard Group’s FreeCO2ast development project.

The liquid hydrogen will be supplied from a bunkering vessel or truck, and then stored on board the cruise ship in a tank. It will be converted into gas again to be used in the fuel cell.

Company officials say the batteries will not for the moment have enough power for larger vessels or longer routes.

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