FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics introduces the first hydrogen-powered CTV “Hydrocat 55″ to the German offshore market”




FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics introduces the first hydrogen-powered CTV “Hydrocat 55″ to the German offshore market”.


Flensburg/Sassnitz, FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics announces the deployment of the first hydrogen-powered dual-fuel Crew Transfer Vessel in Germany for 50Hertz. Following the delivery of the vessel in spring 2023, this marks the beginning of a joint operation in various wind farms in the German Baltic Sea.


The “Hydrocat 55” is a Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) equipped with the dual fuel hydrogen technology of CMB.TECH, one of the FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics (FWOL) shareholders. The vessel represents an innovation for the offshore wind industry and marks a significant step in decarbonizing operations for the Flensburg-based company FWOL. The vessel is part of a fleet of six ships currently operated by FWOL in the German and Danish North and Baltic Sea – all sailing under the German flag.


Hydrocat 55


The dual fuel hydrogen system of the “Hydrocat 55” allows a significant reduction in CO2 emissions during operation and a substantial decrease in NOx emissions by up to 70%. With a length of 25 meters, the CTV accommodates 24 persons and 2-3 crew members and has a tank capacity of 207 kg of hydrogen in 27 cylinders. The engine is manufactured by MAN Engines for dual fuel use and retrofitted by CMB.TECH with a hydrogen injection system. By using hydrogen, the “Hydrocat 55” can significantly reduce diesel consumption and save CO2 emissions. Also, at the same time maximum flexibility and safety is ensured. The “Hydrocat 55” is built the same way as the “Hydrocat 48”, who was launched as the first H2 powered CTV in 2022 for operations in Belgium.


In collaboration with the Dutch joint venture partner Windcat, five more CTVs of this type are under construction. Additionally, work is ongoing to optimize the ship’s technology for even higher decarbonization in the future. The trial period is set to commence in January 2024 and will run for a year with regular use of green hydrogen. The deployment of this innovative CTV strengthens the over ten-year lasting partnership between FWOL and 50Hertz. 50Hertz is the responsible transmission system operator for grid connection of the wind farms in the German Baltic Sea. Currently, two other vessels from the fleet are in operation for the Berlin-based company. The “Hydrocat 55” represents another step towards a more sustainable future in the offshore wind energy sector for both companies. The testing phase aims to provide valuable insights into the integration of hydrogen propulsion in the maritime logistics industry.


Dual fuel hydrogen combustion engines


No fundamental changes to the main engine are required, which not only means that maintenance and repair remain simple, but also that the engine can easily be switched back to diesel fuel without any modifications. Even if hydrogen is not available, the vessel can continue to run on traditional fuel, making it a very robust and reliable solution for the offshore wind industry.


Tim Kunstmann of FWOL states:


Looking to the future, FWOL is committed making a significant contribution to the decarbonization of offshore logistics and supporting a green production of renewable energy with the “Hydrocat 55” and the further vessels of this type.


Willem Van Der Wel of Windcat says:


With this announcement, we are showing that our group strategy is becoming a reality with the focus on decarbonization and optimisation.


“We are reducing the carbon emissions of our customers in the offshore wind industry, today. We’re grateful to have such great customers and local partners who help drive this strategy.”


L-R: Dr. Henrich Quick, Nadja Ballauf (both 50Herz) and Tim Kunstmann (FWOL) in front of the „Hydrocat 55“



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