First LR classed hydrogen-powered vessel launched

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

20 December 2017


Antwerp maritime group Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) has launched its new hydrogen-powered passenger vessel, Hydroville, classed by Lloyd’s Register (LR). The catamaran crew boat is the first LR classed vessel to use hydrogen to power a diesel engine. The advantage of hydrogen is that no CO2, particulate matter or sulphur oxides are released during combustion. The novel concept of hydrogen injected diesel engines aren't covered by standard LR rules, so a risk based design approach to approval was required. Hydroville is a showcase for the use of clean fuels and is primarily a project to test hydrogen technology for applications on larger vessels. It will serve as a shuttle on the river Scheldt to provide CMB employees with environmentally-friendly transport to and from their office. The project is a key part of CMB’s efforts to make its fleet greener. “The project is a showcase for LR as well," said LR’s Global Head of Engineering Systems Ed Fort, "It demonstrates our capabilities in hydrogen risk assessments and is a stepping stone towards the wider use of hydrogen as a fuel for combustion engines and alternative power generation technologies such as fuel cells. LR is taking a leading role in assuring the safe deployment of alternative fuel sources for shipping.” Last week LR and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) released ‘Zero Emission Vessels 2030’, a study examining the viability of zero emission vessels – identifying what needs to be in place to make them a viable and competitive solution for decarbonisation. One of the conclusions of the report was that for vessels with niche access to a low-cost supply of zero carbon fuel or energy, the gap may already be closed, as the Hydroville project demonstrates. Katharine Palmer, LR’s Global Sustainability Manager, said: “There is no doubt that decarbonisation is a huge challenge for our sector and we all have a clear responsibility to ensure actions are taken to drive our operational emissions to zero at a pace matching actions taken across the rest of the world and other industry sectors.”