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Scotland starts feasibility study on hydrogen-powered ferry service

26 Feb 2018

A government funded project to build and fuel the world’s first sea-going hydrogen ferry has been started by a charity trust, six private sector companies and a public sector maritime asset company in Scotland.

The project, currently at its feasibility study phase, is supported by Point and Sandwick Trust, CMAL, Ferguson Marine shipyard in Glasgow, Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy, ITM Power, ENGIE, Wood and Johnston Carmichael.

The initial feasibility study, to be completed by June 2018, will look at the technical and commercial requirements for a west coast hydrogen ferry.

In detail, the study will look at the manufacture of hydrogen using local wind power, the challenges of handling, transportation and storage of hydrogen fuel on local piers, and adaptation of the design and engines of the vessel to run on hydrogen fuel.

“We have a simple yet bold vision which is to harness the huge potential of community-owned wind power on the Scottish islands to power the lifeline ferry services by utilising the very latest in hydrogen energy technology,” says Project manager Calum MacDonald, Development Director for Point and Sandwick Trust and the former MP for the Western Isles.

“Turning that vision into reality will be a world-first and requires the very best expertise in both energy and shipping technology.

“That is why I am delighted that the Scottish Government has agreed to fund the initial feasibility study to map out the technical, commercial and regulatory challenges to overcome.

“We hope to produce this first report by the summer and if it indicates that vision is feasible and practical, we can then move onto the development phase with a view to having a ferry operational in the early 2020s.”

Photo credit: Point and Sandwick Trust
Published: 26 February, 2018


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