Norwegian shipowner Egil Ulvan Rederi has obtained approval in principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register (LR) for its zero-emission self-discharging hydrogen-fuelled bulk carrier, With Orca.

The company plans to sign a long-term transport contract with Felleskjøpet Agri and Heidelberg Cement for the ship, which is slated to become operational in 2024.

With Orca will be powered by hydrogen, which will be kept on board in a compressed state.

The vessel will be equipped with a hydrogen combustion engine, as well as a fuel cell system for energy generation in low load conditions.

The majority of the energy needed to run the 88m and 5,500t ship will be harvested directly from the wind through two large rotor sails.

The ship will mostly sail in open waters in the North Sea.

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In addition, With Orca will be developed to store excess energy in batteries.

The vessel is designed by Norwegian Ship Design and will have hydrogen delivered by Statkraft.

The AiP was granted after LR completed a risk-based HAZID certification.

LR marine and offshore director Mark Darley said: “LR is delighted to have been selected for this world-first project that utilises several alternative propulsion technologies.

“Through our thorough risk-based analysis we are happy to award AiP for the use of hydrogen as a sustainable and safe solution for vessel propulsion. LR is a pioneer in maritime decarbonisation and is supporting our clients to assess the technological, commercial and societal viability of multiple transition pathways.”

Presently, LR is participating in several maritime decarbonisation projects through its Maritime Decarbonisation Hub.

Last March, LR awarded AiP to Belgian shipping firm Exmar for its ammonia (NH₃)-fuelled 40,000m³ midsize gas carrier (MGC).