Norway's state-run Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has expressed interest in using hydrogen as an alternative source of fuel for marine operations.

NMA is also wanting to partner with organisations within the industry to develop the new technology.

Norwegian Maritime Authority senior surveyor Kolbjørn Berge said: “It is our opinion that the use of hydrogen as marine fuel is fully achievable, provided that the process is properly organised.

“The legislation does not hinder the development; on the contrary, it allows for new and innovative thinking when it comes to design and development of technology.

“The important thing is that the overall safety level is as high as for conventional oil-powered machinery, and there will be requirements for risk analysis and explosion analysis to ensure safe use.”

Norwegian Public Roads Administration is also currently preparing to challenge the companies, shipyards and technology environments to build a hydrogen-powered ferry.

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"It is our opinion that the use of hydrogen as marine fuel is fully achievable, provided that the process is properly organised."

The proposed project is expected to enable zero-emission technology for routes not suitable for electric operations.

NMA shipping and navigation director general Olav Akselsen said: “We are very positive about cooperating with the industry in order to realise the hydrogen project.”

The authority announced its involvement in the innovation project HYBRIDShips in January, which was initiated by Fiskerstrand Holding.

The project seeks to develop the world’s first hydrogen-powered ferry, and will bring forward NMA’s approval process for the use of hydrogen as fuel in maritime transport.

Image: Norwegian Maritime Authority representative interacting with participants in a programme. Photo: courtesy of Helga Maria Sund.