Autonomous hydrogen container ships to link Netherlands and Norway by 2025

2022/06/23 at 3:59 PM

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.

SeaShuttle hydrogen-powered container ship, source: Samskip

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.

Remote-controlled shipping

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 GrĂ¥then, CEO of Samskip Norway.

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