An ambitious project to build two hydrogen-powered, remotely controlled and autonomous-ready containerships has secured NOK150m (£12.5m) in funding from Norwegian state enterprise ENOVA.

The SeaShuttle vessels, the developers say, will have zero greenhouse gas emissions and can potentially operate autonomously. There are two on order, due for delivery by 2025. They will operate between Oslofjord, near the Norwegian capital, and Rotterdam, and their cargo is expected to include salmon and other seafood destined for European markets.

The project is being led by multimodal transport and logistics group Samskip and marine robotics specialist Ocean Infinity. Each vessel will be powered by  a 3.2MW hydrogen fuel cell.

ENOVA, which operates under Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, promotes a shift towards more environmentally friendly energy consumption and production, as well as technologies based on sustainable energy.

Originally announced at Nor-Shipping 2022 two months ago, the Samskip-Ocean Infinity partnership covers both the construction and operation of the ships, in a collaboration seeking to push forward towards zero-emission, efficient and safe, multimodal logistics.

Samskip Chief Financial Officer Are Gråthen said: “Samskip is very proud to take the lead role in pioneering the SeaShuttle initiative, as part of its ‘making green logistics easy’ strategy.

“Securing this funding provides a platform to make emissions-free container shipping a reality.

He added: “Together, Samskip and Ocean Infinity will also accelerate their plans to advance autonomous ship technologies, and remote operation of ships and cargo handling equipment. These ships are the first part of an exciting collaboration with Ocean Infinity.”

Christoffer Jorgenvag, Chief Commercial Officer at Ocean Infinity, said: “Ocean Infinity’s enabling technologies can facilitate green corridors but also the broader decarbonisation and transformation of maritime operations. The emphasis today is on the SeaShuttle vessels, which are just part of Ocean Infinity’s overall strategy of unlocking innovation to deliver truly sustainable maritime operations.”

Samskip group CEO Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, said sustainability is one of the fundamentals in the company’s business policy.

 

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