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  • 2021 December 9 08:07

    Topeka’s hydrogen vessels one step closer to reality

    Zero-emission shipping company Topeka, part of the Wilhelmsen group, has been awarded USDM 25 (NOK 219 million) by Enova to build two zero-emission hydrogen powered vessels, according to Wilhelmsen's release. The grant was approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) this week meaning all necessary approvals for funding have been cleared. What remains is for the production of hydrogen to begin.

    Going under the concept name “Topeka: base to base”, the vessels will be the first of their kind to enter commercial service in 2024. The two vessels are identical and will be powered by liquid hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, emitting zero emissions. The two vessels will sail on a fixed schedule along the Norwegian western coast, providing zero-emission transport service between offshore supply bases, carrying coastwise customer cargo between Stavanger, Haugesund, Bergen and Kristiansund, and containerized liquid hydrogen (LH2) to bunkering hubs along the same route. Norway’s west coast is dotted with bases serving the offshore industries, with base-to-base transport representing a heavy-duty transport route eminently suited to LH2. The bunkering hubs will in the future supply LH2-powered vessels including ferries and seagoing tonnage.

    Enova SF is owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and contributes to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, development of energy and climate technology and a strengthened security of supply. Because the Topeka project exceeds the maximum aid allowed for single projects under the Enova run “Eco-Inn scheme”, it needs to be notified to ESA. “We appreciate the thorough and important clarification from ESA that allows the project to proceed with its plans”, says Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of Enova SF.




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