Shortsea operator Samskip has been awarded a grant to help make the investment decision to convert a dual-fuelled LNG-powered multipurpose vessel to also run off hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

The vessel is the Kvitnos (built 2015) which runs on a service from Rotterdam and along the Norwegian coastline.

The grant comes from Enova, the Norwegian government agency, which supports decarbonisation projects in the country.

Samskip is already involved in another hydrogen-fuelled vessel project, part of the SeaShuttle project, with a hydrogen-fuelled container ship currently under construction at Cochin in India.

“With the delivery of our LNG-propelled multipurpose vessels back in 2015, Samskip already offered one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cargo ships, which eliminated SOx emissions while drastically reducing NOx and CO2 emissions,” said Are Grathen, Samskip’s regional director for Norway and Sweden.

“With this grant from Enova, and in close cooperation with fuel cell provider TECO 2030, we will continue our endeavour to enable full zero-emission propulsion, which in turn will further pave the way for our hydrogen-propelled newbuilds coming out next year and bring us closer to our net-zero targets for 2040.”

The Enova funding will help TECO 2030 and Norwegian engineering firm Blom Maritime with the pre-feasibility decision-making. Oslo-listed TECO 2030 is developing fuel cell systems.

If the retrofit goes ahead, it will allow the Samskip vessel to operate with zero emissions in certain parts of the Norwegian fjords, which will soon have zero-emission requirements, and then use LNG or diesel on other parts of its itinerary.