Norway’s Halten Bulk has moved to build a pair of hydrogen-fuelled bulkers following NOK142m ($13.8m) funding from government enterprise Enova.
Halten Bulk, owned by Brødrene Nordbø, Egil Ulvan, and Strand Shipping, was founded in 2014 and currently operates seven short-sea bulk vessels.
The two new vessels have been designed by Norwegian Ship Design, which now has orders for five hydrogen-fuelled vessels. They belong to the so-called “Powered by Nature” concept developed in cooperation with Egil Ulvan, which earlier this year unveiled plans for a zero-emission hydrogen-fuelled self-discharging bulker set to enter service in 2024.
The 100-meter-long bulkers will have a cargo hold volume of around 8000 cubic meters and will be outfitted with two large rotorsails.
“The vessels will be among the first of their kind to demonstrate hydrogen solutions,” remarked Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova, adding: “The vessels will be central to demonstrating the solutions and lowering the risk for those who come after. The technologies for energy efficiency are also innovative, and the use of wind is important for reducing the need for added energy and increasing the competitiveness of emission-free energy carriers.”
The ships will form part of a fleet that has operations beyond the Norwegian coast and is therefore dependent on using marine gas oil until hydrogen becomes commercially available in several places in Europe.
Halten said it would start with a combination of 70% hydrogen and 30% marine gas oil. “The more available bunkering stations that come, the greater proportion of hydrogen we will use. Then hydrogen will also become more competitive in price,” said Ivar Christian Ulvan, manager of Halten Bulk.
The vessels will bunker hydrogen from five new Enova-supported production facilities. In total, the hubs will have the capacity to deliver hydrogen to between 35 and 40 vessels.