Norwegian ship owner Torghatten Nord has received approval in principle (AiP) from the UK-based maritime classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) for two hydrogen-fuelled ferries.

These vessels will run on Norway’s longest ferry connection called Vestfjordstrekninga, which links Bodø, Røst, Værøy, and Moskenes.

Designed by Norwegian Ship Design, the two ferries will utilise at least 85% ‘green hydrogen’ based fuel.

This is said to lower the route’s annual CO2 emissions by 26,500 tonnes.

The hydrogen storage part, feeding hydrogen to fuel cells and the fuel cells themselves, are the key components of the hydrogen system on board.

Both the ferries are expected to be operational in October 2025.

This AiP has been granted after concluding a risk-based HAZID certification in a “comprehensive and constructive” manner.

The project represents a major step in maritime energy transition as the industry focuses on sustainable fuel sources, the classification society stated.

LR North Europe president Markus Büsig said: “We are pleased to award Torghatten Nord approval in principle based on an extensive risk analysis of the concept and technology.

“Lloyd’s Register has been present in Norway for 150 years, and we see this as a landmark project that will drive forward the use of hydrogen as a safe and sustainable future fuel.”

This year in June, LR agreed to acquire OneOcean from Equistone Partners Europe.

OneOcean, which was set up through the merger of ChartCo and Marine Press in 2019, offers maritime technologies tied to voyage compliance and safety, among others.