MHI Vestas sets course for hydrogen propulsion

MHI Vestas and the owner of the Bard offshore wind project have signed agreements with a shipbuilder to provide offshore operation vessels that will eventually be powered using hydrogen technology.

The operation vessels will be prepared for the hydrogen technology (pic: Salt Ship Design)
The operation vessels will be prepared for the hydrogen technology (pic: Salt Ship Design)

Vessels firm Edda Wind, part of the Norwegian Østensjø Group, is building four vessels at shipyards in Spain, and two have now been secured by offshore wind firms.

The first, a service operation vessel (SOV), will be delivered to MHI Vestas in 2022 for a 15-year charter.

The second vessel — a commissioning service operation vessel (CSOV) — will be delivered to Ocean Breeze Energy, owner of the 400MW Bard 1 offshore wind project in the German North Sea. The newly built vessel will be delivered in early 2022 for a ten-year period.

Edda Wind said the new vessels will be equipped with a battery hybrid propulsion system that will "reduce emissions of greenhouse gases significantly".

Edda is also working with sister company Østensjø Rederi to develop technology that would power the vessels using hydrogen.

"The newbuilds are prepared for future installation of this technology, which will turn the vessels into zero-emissions vessels without compromising operational capabilities," Edda Wind explained.

The development of the hydrogen technology is supported by the Norwegian government via its Enova investment vehicle.

"When MHI Vestas was assessing suppliers for our newest service operation vessels, Edda Wind stood out for many reasons, one of which was their emphasis on decarbonising their next-generation fleet of supply vessels," said Flemming Ougaard, MHI Vestas' chief operations officer.

"The upside of potentially fuelling the SOV with zero-emission hydrogen is very exciting and supports our objectives to decarbonise our operations," he added.

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