Maritime decarbonisation cruises forward in Orkney with £2.2m project

The seven-month HIMET – Hydrogen in an Integrated Maritime Energy Transition – project aims to demonstrate technologies focused on two key local sectors: ferry services and cruise terminal operations

The Big Zero report

A new £2.2 million project has been launched in the UK to explore various solutions for decarbonising ferries as well as shore-side activities in ports.

The seven-month HIMET – Hydrogen in an Integrated Maritime Energy Transition – project in Orkney, led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) aims to demonstrate technologies to enable maritime decarbonisation focused on two key local sectors: ferry services and cruise terminal operations.

Different solutions will be designed and demonstrated, including hydrogen storage specifically intended to use on board a vessel and the supply of on-board auxiliary power using a hydrogen fuel cell, to decarbonise ferries, in addition to testing a conventional ferry propulsion engine running on pure hydrogen.

For resilient shore-side power, a hydrogen engine will be deployed at Hatston to power crew welfare facilities at the cruise terminal and microgrid solutions will be explored to consider future power requirements for ferry terminals.

HIMET will also carry out research and stakeholder engagement activities to establish how decarbonised fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia, coupled with technology innovations can best inform the broader maritime energy transition.

James Walker, EMEC’s Hydrogen Development Manager said: “EMEC foresees significant opportunities in maritime innovation, with hydrogen and hydrogen derivative fuels expected to play a vital role in decarbonising the sector.

“Building on the knowledge and experience from various green hydrogen projects that have instigated the development of a hydrogen economy locally, the HIMET project will showcase emerging and innovative technologies which will help pave the way to decarbonising maritime activities. While the project will focus on addressing challenges in the Orkney context, we believe our findings will be applicable to all island and coastal environments where vessels provide vital lifeline services.

Orkney has long been a living laboratory for renewable energy and decarbonisation and is well placed to become a centre of excellence in maritime decarbonisation as well.”

The consortium for the project includes Aquatera, EMEC Hydrogen, Eneus Energy, OakTec, Orcades Marine Management Consultants, Orkney Islands Council, Ricardo, RINA, Schneider Electric, ULEMCo and Urban Foresight.

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