Autonomous hydrogen container ships to link Netherlands and Norway by 2025
The maritime communication between the ports of Rotterdam and Oslo, the main harbours in the Netherlands and Norway, will be carried out with hydrogen-powered container ships. Such an ambitious goal will be jointly implemented by Samskip and Ocean Infinity until 2025. Furthermore, the hydrogen vessels are expected to be operated remotely.
Two months ago, in April 2022, Samskip, the Dutch shortsea and multimodal specialist, and Ocean Infinity, the US-based engineering company focused on marine robotics, established a partnership for joint implementation of the SeaShuttle project, which is dedicated to building hydrogen-powered, remotely controlled and autonomous-ready container ships. Now, both partners have succeeded in securing funds for the project. Norwegian state enterprise ENOVA, which promotes a shift towards more environmentally friendly energy consumption and production, will allocate 15 million euros to decarbonise the shipping line between the Netherlands and Norway.
According to Samskip, the two SeaShuttle hydrogen-powered container ships with a capacity of 500 TEU will sail between Rotterdam and Oslo starting from 2025. Each vessel will be equipped with 3.2-megawatt hydrogen fuel cells. Additionally, Samskip and Ocean Infinity are planning to make the SeaShuttle ships unmanned. “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,” said Are Gråthen, CEO of Samskip Norway.