The 14 m x 4.2 m catamaran passenger vessel Hydroville launched last month by Antwerp maritime group Compagnie Maritime Belge (see earlier story) is the first Lloyd's Register classed vessel to use hydrogen to fuel a diesel engine.
The concept of hydrogen injected diesel engines is not covered by standard LR rules, so a risk based design approach to approval was required.
Hydroville is a showcase for the use of clean fuels and is primarily a project to test hydrogen technology for applications on larger vessels. It will serve as a shuttle ferry on the river Scheldt to provide CMB employees with environmentally-friendly transport to and from their office. The project is a key part of CMB's efforts to make its fleet greener.
"The project is a showcase for LR as well," said LR's Global Head of Engineering Systems Ed Fort, "It demonstrates our capabilities in hydrogen risk assessments and is a stepping stone towards the wider use of hydrogen as a fuel for combustion engines and alternative power generation technologies such as fuel cells. LR is taking a leading role in assuring the safe deployment of alternative fuel sources for shipping."
LR and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) recently released "Zero Emission Vessels 2030," a study examining the viability of zero emission vessels – identifying what needs to be in place to make them a viable and competitive solution for decarbonization. One conclusion of the report was that for vessels with niche access to a low-cost supply of zero carbon fuel or energy, the gap may already be closed, as the Hydroville project demonstrates.
Katharine Palmer, LR's Global Sustainability Manager, said: "There is no doubt that decarbonization is a huge challenge for our sector and we all have a clear responsibility to ensure actions are taken to drive our operational emissions to zero at a pace matching actions taken across the rest of the world and other industry sectors."