Samskip and Ocean Infinity press ahead with remotely operated, hydrogen-fuelled containership project

Rotterdam-headquartered liner Samskip and Houston-based marine robotics company Ocean Infinity have secured close to $16m in funding from Norwegian state enterprise Enova to advance the development of zero-emission, remotely operated and autonomous-ready, shortsea container vessels that will operate between Norway and the Netherlands by 2025, creating one of Europe’s first green corridors.

Under the SeaShuttle project, the partnership, originally announced at this year’s Nor-Shipping in April, will be building and operating two new boxships, each powered by a 3.2MW hydrogen fuel cell.

The funding means the partners can move forward to contract two new 500 teu ships equipped with a main propulsion solution that can be adapted to run on hydrogen fuel. A diesel-electric propulsion plant will be on board as backup, although Are Gråthen, CEO of Samskip Norway, emphasised: “We have faith that green hydrogen will be affordable and available in Norway.” 

“Securing this funding provides a platform to make emissions-free container shipping a reality. Together, Samskip and Ocean Infinity will also accelerate their plans to advance autonomous ship technologies, and remote operation of ships and cargo handling equipment,” added Gråthen.

Ocean Infinity is building 23 remotely operated low-emission vessels as part of its Armada fleet that will facilitate alternative fuels such as green ammonia. These vessels will be optimised for inspection, maintenance, repair, and light construction work in the offshore energy market.

Christoffer Jorgenvag, CCO, Ocean Infinity, commented: “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.”

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.

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