The Danish shipping line and its partners - ABB, Ballard Power Systems Europe, Hexagon Purus, Lloyd's Register, KNUD E. HANSEN, Ørsted, and Danish Ship Finance - have applied for money from the EU Innovation Fund to build a ro-pax equipped with proton-exchange membrane fuel cells.
The 44t-big tank fuel cell system, hydrogen for which is to be sourced from an offshore wind energy-powered electrolyser plant planned to be erected in the Greater Copenhagen, will be able to produce up to 23 MW to propel the ship.
"There are no ferries of this kind in the world today and a high level of uncertainty is therefore involved in the undertaking. However, if the project develops as projected, the ferry could be in full operation on the route, or elsewhere, as early as 2027," DFDS said in a press release.
The ferry, bearing the working name Europa Seaways, will be able to take up to 1,800 passengers on-board as well as offer 2,300 lane metres of cargo capacity. She'll be initially deployed across the Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen route.
According to the parties, by running on green hydrogen Europa Seaways will avoid emitting 64kt CO2/year.
"The largest fuel cell systems today produce only 1-5 MW, and the development of such large-scale fuel cell installations for an electric ferry is a monumental task. We can only succeed in partnership with companies that bring together some of the globe's finest expertise in design, approval, building, financing and operation of innovative vessels," Torben Carlsen, CEO, DFDS, highlighted.
He also said, "Together, we expect to be able to make these fuel types and technologies commercially viable, which is key to a transition of the industry to climate neutrality. This is also the ultimate goal of DFDS' climate action plan."