The goal of the project is to show the feasibility of hydrogen as the primary energy carrier for ships of this size.

– Norway is in the process of taking a leading role in the development of new and future-oriented maritime technology. This is a very big issue for the maritime industry and for Norway as a nation when it comes to hydrogen, says Jan Eyvin Wang, Senior Vice President Industrial Investments in Wilhelmsen.

He continues: – Topeka’s two ro-ro ships are part of the short sea shipping fleet. Among other things, they will move equipment between NorSea’s bases in Western Norway for Equinor. In addition, they will transport hydrogen to various bunkering points, where local ferries and other vessels plus land transport will be able to bunker hydrogen. With this, we see the beginnings of an infrastructure for hydrogen.

Zero emission technology for the maritime industry is within reach, and Norway must use our maritime position to be part of this journey.

Jan Eyvin Wang, SVP Industrial Investments, Wilhelmsen

The planned sailing route includes the supply bases in Tananger, Dusavik, Ågotnes and Mongstad, which can all offer the ships shore power. It is estimated that the ships will relieve the road network of more than 11,000 kilometres driven by truck each day, amounting to 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

– Zero emission technology for the maritime industry is within reach, and Norway must use our maritime position to be part of this journey. Wilhelmsen has a clear ambition to participate in enabling this shift, not only in Norway, but internationally, says Wang.

Enova supports the Wilhelmsen Group’s plan to build the world’s first two hydrogen ships in the commercial freight trade with up to NOK 219 million. The vessels are scheduled to become operational in 2024.