Torghatten Nord chooses Norwegian technology for the world’s first large-scale hydrogen-ferry project.

4 minutes
March 2, 2023
Torghatten Nord has chosen the Norwegian technology company SEAM as system partner for their prestigious project with hydrogen ferries in Vestfjorden.

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Norway’s longest state ferry connection, highway 80 across Vestfjorden, will from 2026 be operated by two hydrogen ferries designed by The Norwegian Ship Design Company, and will be equipped with control and propulsion technology from SEAM. Norwegian design and technology will therefore be predominant in Torghatten’s pioneering project.

- Through the development of the hydrogen-ferries project, we have emphasized the opportunities that exist within the Norwegian maritime industry. By bringing in SEAM, it is confirmed that we in Norway have knowledgeable and innovative players in the supply chain who can contribute to a world-class climate project like this, says Torkild Torkildsen, managing director of Torghatten Nord.

Torghatten's hydrogen ferries received approval in principle from the class company Lloyd's in August 2022. Thus, everything was in place for the further development of what will become the world's first large-scale hydrogen ferry project. With this project, Torghatten will become the first major purchaser of hydrogen in Norway, thereby contributing to the further development of the Norwegian hydrogen industry.

- We are proud to be Torghatten's partner in this ground-breaking project. Together, we will show that it is possible with hydrogen vessels on a large scale, and that the technology and expertise to implement this can be found in Norway. This is a new and important step to ensure zero emissions in the Norwegian ferry fleet, says Gunvald Mortvedt, CEO of SEAM.

SEAM, which has its head office in Karmøy on the west coast of Norway, has established itself over the course of a few years as the leading supplier of zero-emission solutions to the maritime industry, and has positioned itself as an important systems partner for, among others, Norwegian ferry- and offshore shipping companies.

Hydrogen is an area the company has worked a lot on, and invested heavily in, including through their own test lab for hydrogen fuel cells and systems. For the ferries in the Vestfjorden, SEAM will deliver their in-house developed control and safety system, as well as the entire powertrain - from fuel cell in combination with batteries and switchboards, to electric motor for propellers. The fuel cells will be supplied by PowerCell, which signed a letter of intent with SEAM in early February this year.

The hydrogen testlab at SEAM HQ will play an important role in testing the hydrogen systems for Torghatten's two hydrogen ferries

The hydrogen ferries will have a major impact on the climate, as CO2 emissions in the Vestfjord connection are reduced by 26,500 tonnes per year, equivalent to 13,000 diesel cars. The ferries must run on a minimum of 85 percent hydrogen, and a maximum of 15 percent biofuel.

- This is important climate technology that is already in use in the Norwegian maritime sector. For us, it is an important point that through Vestfjorden we contribute to the further development of technology and the building of further expertise in this area in Norway. With this project, we will contribute both to innovation and industrial development, to creating jobs, and to a better climate and environment in Bodø and Lofoten. You could hardly wish for a better kinder egg, says Torkildsen.

- Norway has the will, expertise and experience needed to realize our zero-emission ambitions and develop world-leading solutions for maritime operations. Our Norwegian partners are at the forefront of both the design and development of energy-efficient ships and technology, and this project will greatly contribute to important competence development in maritime, electrical, automation and engineering fields. We are pleased to have SEAM on the team in this project, says Operations Director at Torghatten Nord, Eirik Olsen.

- We at The Norwegian Ship Design Company are both happy and humbled to participate in the wonderful journey of realizing the hydrogen ferries, that represent ground-breaking, new zero-emission technology on a scale that no one else in the world comes close to. The concept has been developed in close collaboration with Torghatten Nord and together we are now happy to include SEAM as a system integrator with its first-class expertise in control and safety systems, and for the hydrogen-electric powertrain, concludes CEO of The Norwegian Ship Design Company, Gjermund Johannessen

Feature image: Nord

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