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Friday, November 15, 2019 

Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein is looking to hydrogen to provide the ultimate zero-emission solution; the company's vision is to create tomorrow’s solutions for sustainable marine operations, and Ulstein says its first hydrogen powered ship design is now market-ready, and could be put to use today.

Ulstein points out that DNV GL has identified the five most promising alternative fuels for shipping, with hydrogen as the ultimate zero-emission solution. The first complete hydrogen fuelled prospect has been put together by Ulstein Design & Solutions BV and Nedstack fuel cell technology BV. The Ulstein SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel design features a Nedstack fuel cell power system. The DP2 vessel can cater for a large variety of offshore support operations.

“The maritime industry needs to align and be ambitious in bringing green solutions forward for a sustainable future. With this hydrogen-fuelled vessel, we aim for future zero-emission operations of long endurance,” said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO, Ulstein Group. Sea trials of a newbuild ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission could happen as soon as 2022.

The Ulstein SX190 design in its present form could operate for four days in zero-emission mode. However, with the rapid developments in hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies, a future zero-emission endurance of up to two weeks is targeted. For extended missions and capabilities, the vessel can fall back on a conventional diesel-electric system using low sulphur MDO.

The SX190 Zero Emission version has a total installed power of 7,5 MW, of which 2 MW is generated by the fuel cell system, typically Nedstack PEM fuel cells, which are located in a separate, second engine room. The cells are fuelled by hydrogen from containerised pressure vessels, which can be loaded and unloaded by normal container handling operations and equipment.

The company says that this initiative supports several of the Sustainable Development Goals as defined by the UN Global Compact.

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