Construction begins on 'world's first' hydrogen-powered short-sea container ship




India’s state-owned Cochin Shipyard cuts steel on first of two vessels set to be fitted with fuel cells


The “world’s first” small container ships powered by green hydrogen look set to hit the water next year, following the news that construction on two such vessels has begun in India.


Cochin Shipyard, which is owned by the Indian government and located in southwestern state of Kerala, on Friday began cutting steel for the first of the ships, which have been ordered by Netherlands-based Samskip as part of its SeaShuttle project, part-funded by the Norwegian government.


The two SeaShuttle vessels, set for delivery in the latter half of 2025, will be fitted with 3.2MW hydrogen fuel cells, making them the first container ships of their size in the world to run on H2.


Hydrogen will be stored on board for the fuel cells, while the ship will also be fitted with a diesel engine as back-up.


The ships, classified as smaller “feeder” container vessels, will carry 365 45ft-high (13.7-metre-high) cube containers between continental Europe and Scandinavian markets.





The pair were ordered from Cochin in March 2023 as part of the SeaShuttle project to develop zero-emissions vessels for “short-sea” journeys, defined as voyages that predominantly follow coastlines and do not cross the ocean.


Samskip, which was awarded NKr149m ($14m) from Norway’s government to develop the vessels in 2022, claims that the pair will be the first green H2-powered container vessels of their size for short-sea journeys.


The Rotterdam-based company has pledged to use green hydrogen in the fuel cells, as well as renewable electricity for shore power, however it has not released any details about how it is procuring green H2.





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