Ballard to deliver fuel cell modules for Norled’s hydrogen ferry

Two 200 kilowatt (kW) FCwave modules have been delivered to Norled, one of Norway’s largest ferry and express boat operators.

To power the MF Hydra, the world’s first liquid hydrogen-powered ferry, later this year, we’ll use the fuel cell modules that we’ve developed. Hydrogen-powered ship MF Hydra has been approved by the Norwegian Maritime Directorate, the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB), and DNV. The ship can carry up to 300 passengers and 80 cars, and it will travel the Norwegian triangular route between Hjelmeland, Skipavik, and Nesvik.

Erlend Hovland, Chief Technology Officer at Norled says: “This is a pioneering project. It represents a significant turning point for both Norled and the rest of the maritime sector. We believe that hydrogen will play a significant role in the future of zero-emission ships. The delivery of the fuel cell modules from Ballard enables us to continue our work to deliver and operate the world’s first ferry to be fueled by liquid hydrogen.”

FCwave modules for Norled were manufactured and tested at Ballard’s Marine Center of Excellence in Hobro, Denmark. DNV, one of the world’s leading classification and certification bodies, has approved the two FCwave marine fuel cell modules. These two modules confirm that FCwave’s design meets all internationally recognized quality and safety standards and regulations, as well as those set forth by the maritime industry itself.

Søren Østergaard Hansen, General Manager, Marine and Stationary, Ballard Power Systems Europe adds: “The handover of the FCwaveTM modules to Norled A/S marks an important milestone for Ballard and demonstrates that hydrogen fuel cells are out of the starting blocks and on the way to lead in zero-emission technologies for the marine industry. Through the experience gained in projects with Norled A/S and other marine partners, we have taken a big step towards the goal of receiving the official Type Approval from DNV, which will certify that the FCwaveTM has met the functional, design, documentation and safety requirements necessary for global marine commercialization.”

With a goal of reducing domestic shipping and fishing vessel emissions by half by 2030, the Norwegian government unveiled its action plan for green shipping. The introduction of zero-emission cruise ships and ferries in the country’s World Heritage Fjords by 2026 was also part of this plan. As a result, the fjords will be the first maritime zero-emission zone in the world.