LR to class Torghatten Nord’s hydrogen-powered ferry duo for Arctic sailings


The two H2-powered vessels will be built in Norway and will operate in the country’s most challenging Arctic waters

Two hydrogen-powered passenger ferries ordered by Norwegian transport company Torghatten Nord are set for Lloyd’s Register (LR) class following Approval in Principle (AiP) awarded in August 2022. Designed by The Norwegian Ship Design Company to operate in the challenging waters of the Vestfjordstrekninga fjord in the Arctic Circle, the two vessels will be built at Norwegian shipyard, Myklebust Verft.

At 117 metres long with a 120-car capacity, the duo will be the world’s largest hydrogen-powered ships, operating on green hydrogen at least 85% of the time. Operating at an average speed of 17 knots in often challenging conditions, the vessels will navigate the 278km-long Vestfjordstrekninga ferry route connecting Bodø, the islands of Røst and Værøy, and Moskenes.

A hydrogen storage unit onboard the vessel will feed gas to the fuel cells, creating electricity to propel the vessels and power their auxiliary systems, reducing CO2-emissions on the route by around 26,500 tons each year.

The alternative fuel newbuilds with biodiesel backup, bring together LR as the class society, owner Torghatten Nord, The Norwegian Ship Design Company, Myklebust Verft shipyard, systems integrator SEAM, and hydrogen supplier GreenH. The Norwegian Maritime Authority will flag the two vessels.

The H2-powered ferries join another set of LR-classed vessels currently being built in Norway; two construction support offshore vessels (CSOVs) are being built at Vard Langsten shipyard and will enter service late in 2025 or early 2026.

Nick Brown, CEO, LR, said: “These flagship hydrogen-powered ferries represent a significant milestone for Norway as it furthers its continuing commitment to clean hydrogen infrastructure.  We see significant interest in green hydrogen as a maritime fuel especially for short-sea shipping and look forward to working with our Norwegian customers —Torghatten Nord, Myklebust Verft and The Norwegian Ship Design Company — to ensure this innovative project is progressed with safety, reliability and sustainability at its core.

Marius Hansen, Managing director, Torghatten Nord, said: “We are delighted to be working with Myklebust Verft on this project, as together with our partners we set the standard for a completely new class of ship that reduces emissions and supports sustainable operations. This project is a significant boost for the Norwegian technology and shipyard environment and we are proud to make it happen in Norway.

Leiv Sindre Muren, CEO, Myklebust Verft, said, “We are delighted that Myklebust Verft has been selected to build these innovative, large-scale hydrogen-powered ferries, showcasing Norway’s level of expertise and ambition and augmenting its maritime hydrogen power infrastructure. We look forward to developing our relationship with Lloyd’s Register as we partner on these complex newbuilds.

Alf Tore Sørheim, Acting Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Norwegian Maritime Authority, said: “Signing contracts for zero-emission vessels is a significant milestone. The Norwegian Maritime Authority is pleased to see Norwegian shipping companies taking responsibility and driving forward new technologies for reducing emissions, and that they have competent partners to assist them in this endeavour. We look forward to collaborating with LR, the shipping company, and suppliers towards the certification and commissioning of the vessels.

Gjermund Johannessen, CEO, The Norwegian Ship Design Company, said: “We are excited to finally start building the two hydrogen ferries for Torghatten Nord and look forward to continuing our good collaboration with Torghatten Nord and Myklebust Verft. These hydrogen ferries are unmatched by any other ferries in the world today, with the largest hydrogen installations in a ship ever by a substantial margin. We have developed a unique hydrogen concept using hydrogen’s physical properties for achieving optimal safety. We believe hydrogen will play an important role for zero-emission short-sea shipping. Through close and fruitful collaboration with Torghatten Nord and their technical team from tender and during all development stages, the project is now more than ready to welcome the well-respected shipyard Myklebust Verft onto the project.

About Lloyd’s Register

Trusted maritime advisers, partnering with clients to drive performance across the ocean economy.

Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global professional services group specialising in marine engineering and technology. With a heritage going back more than 260 years to the establishment of the world’s first marine classification society; to improve and set standards for the safety of ships.

Today we are a leading provider of classification and compliance services to the marine and offshore industries, helping our clients design, construct and operate their assets to accepted levels of safety and environmental compliance.

We also provide advice, support and solutions on fleet performance and optimisation, voyage optimisation, enhancing our clients’ digital capability. Our digital solutions are relied upon by more than 20,000 vessels.

In the race to zero emissions, our research, technical expertise and industry-firsts are supporting a safe, sustainable maritime energy transition.

Lloyd’s Register Group is wholly owned by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a politically and financially independent global charity that promotes safety and education.

About Torghatten Nord

Torghatten Nord AS is a company in the Torghatten group.  

Torghatten is one of Norway’s largest transport groups at sea. In total, we have an annual turnover of around NOK 3 billion, and we have around 1,300 employees. 

Our history began with a steamship outside Brønnøysund in 1878. Over the years, Torghatten has gone from operating transport only by sea to transport also by road and in the air, to the point where we now only operate sea transport again. Today we have ferries and high-speed crafts along the entire Norwegian coast. 

Our purpose is to connect people and local societies through sustainable infrastructure. We have an ambition to be the preferred ferry and high-speed craft operator in Norway. 

The shift to zero emissions is now changing shipping at high speed. In a short time, we will contribute to lead shipping back to the same level of pollution as when ships were driven by sails – that is, zero emissions. 

Our largest clients are the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and county municipalities through tenders and framework agreements. 

About Norwegian Maritime Authority

The Preferred Maritime Administration

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) is the administrative and supervisory authority in matters related to safety of life, health, material assets and the environment on vessels flying the Norwegian flag and foreign ships in Norwegian waters. The NMA is also responsible for ensuring the legal protection of Norwegian-registered ships and registered rights in those ships. The NMA is subordinate to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Climate and Environment. Our activities are governed by national and international legislation, agreements and political decisions.

About The Norwegian Ship Design Company: 

Norwegian Ship Design is an independent company established early 2019 by a group of highly experienced and skilled Naval Architects and engineers formerly holding key positions in other Norwegian ship design companies.

The staff’s experience in initial design and project development of battery electric and hybrid vessels is unique, having been responsible for nearly 30 battery electric or hybrid new buildings in the recent years. In addition, we have been responsible for numerous “Next generation upgrades” implementing zero or low emission solutions in existing vessels. Several in depth studies of Hydrogen powered vessel concepts have led us to yet another specialized experience and competency.

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