Østensjø Group is looking to develop and market emission-free onboard propulsion systems for the shipping sector based on organic oil loaded with hydrogen.
The Norwegian shipowner has founded a joint venture company with Germany’s Hydrogenious LOHC Technology, which has developed the so-called liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology – a process of loading hydrogen into thermal oil as well as releasing it where and when it’s needed.
Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime is aiming to have a megawatt-scale commercial product ready by 2025, and its initial project, HyNjord, is supported by Norway’s Enova with NOK26m ($3m).
According to Østensjø, LOHC can be used to store and transport large quantities of hydrogen under ambient conditions, using the already existing fossil fuel infrastructure. The energy density of LOHC is also said to be favourable, as a vessel can store 2-3 times more energy compared to compressed hydrogen.
“Of all the potential zero-emission technologies, we find LOHC the most promising one. The fact that we can use existing fuel infrastructure and are able to use familiar fuelling procedures is of importance. In addition, we can easily carry enough energy onboard our vessels in order to operate in normal intervals of up to four weeks without refueling”, says Håvard Framnes, Investment Director in Østensjø.
The joint venture has an exclusive license agreement with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies for maritime use of the technology, which will be implemented on all six service operation vessels under construction for Østensjø subsidiary, Edda Wind.