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Hydrogen-Powered “High-Speed Vessel of the Future” Will Hit 40 MPH With Zero Emissions

This isn’t just a symbolic description but the actual name of a major project that’s supported by local authorities in Norway. Several county municipalities are investing in what is supposed to become “the high-speed vessel of the future,” a hydrogen-powered passenger boat.
Umoe Mandal will turn its energy-efficient vessel design into one that's powered by hydrogen 7 photos
TECO 2030 will equip an Umoe Mandal vessel with fuel cellsTECO 2030TECO 2030 Fuel CellsTECO 2030TECO 2030 and Shell Will Launch a Hydrogen-Powered TankerTECO 2030 will equip an Umoe Mandal vessel with fuel cells
Norway is one of those countries that seem to always be one step ahead when it comes to clean energy and sustainability. So it’s not surprising that a few Norwegian municipalities (Finnmark, Nordland, Trondelag, and Vestland) want to support the development of next-generation technology for several areas, one of them being maritime transportation.

The consortium that was chosen to bring to life the world’s first high-speed hydrogen vessel is comprised of TECO 2030, Umoe Mandal, plus BLOM Maritime and has received 5 million NOK ($508,700) in funding. TECO 2030, a clean tech startup, will be the one to provide the fuel cell system for the future vessel. Umoe Mandal will bring its expertise in the use of SES (Surface Effect Ship) technology and energy-efficient hull design. According to Umoe Mandal, this would be the first hydrogen-powered version of its vessels.

Regarding the future ship itself, there’s not much information available at this point. The main characteristic of this currently-unnamed vessel will be the ability to hit an impressive speed of 35 knots (40 mph/64.8 kph) while carrying 200 to 300 passengers, powered only by hydrogen. The range is also a huge factor to be considered when it comes to hydrogen-powered vehicles of any kind. The exact range of this future boat wasn’t specified yet, but TECO 2030 mentioned that it will cruise “over long distances.

Only last month, TECO 2030 announced its involvement in another major project. Together with Shell’s Maritime Division, it plans to launch a retrofitted hydrogen-powered tanker featuring the company’s fuel cell system.

Over the next two years, the consortium will develop the future high-speed vessel, which will be built during the next phase of the project. If things go according to plan, it should become operational by 2025.

Editor's note: Gallery showing the basic Umoe Mandal vessel design

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