US-based company Bay Ship and Yacht has secured a contract from Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM) to build a hydrogen fuel cell-powered ferry.

Scheduled to be delivered and commissioned by September next year, the passenger vessel will be built in the US and will operate on the San Francisco Bay.

Named ‘Water-Go-Round’, the 70ft-long, all-aluminium vessel will be managed by charter service provider Red and White Fleet.

To be built as part of a $3m grant provided by California Air Resources Board (CARB) to GGZEM, Water-Go-Round will be the first zero-emission passenger vessel in the US.

GGZEM CEO Dr Joseph Pratt said: “Together with our partners, we will show our communities there is a long-term solution to meeting the drastic cuts in pollution and greenhouse gases required by states like California and other governments around the globe.”

Water-Go-Round will be powered by two 300kW electric motors using independent electric drivetrains from BAE Systems.

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It will receive its power from a set of 360kW hydrogenics proton exchange membrane fuel cells and Li-ion battery packs.

“This project places Bay Ship and Yacht at the forefront of its industry by being the first shipyard to build such a vessel in the US.”

The vessel’s upper deck will be equipped with hydrogen tanks developed by Hexagon Composites, with valves and hardware from OMB-Saleri. The tanks will contain enough hydrogen to allow the vessel to run for two days between refuelling.

Using GGZEM’s ‘zero-infrastructure’ flexible fuelling arrangement, Water-Go-Round will be able to refuel anywhere with truck access.

The vessel is also expected to support the extensive adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology to reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases in the shipping sector as the technology produces only water as its bi-product.

Bay Ship and Yacht Business director Richard Maguire said: “This project places Bay Ship and Yacht at the forefront of its industry by being the first shipyard to build such a vessel in the US.

“It also ensures the continuation of commercial boat building in the bay area.”

Bay Ship is primarily involved in the repair and conversion of commercial and military vessels, research vessels, new builds, and super yachts.