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Funding secured for UK’s first hydrogen injection system on a ferry

Innovate UK has granted £430,332 (US$550,660) of funding to design and integrate a hydrogen-diesel dual-fuel injection system on board a commercial ferry. The hydrogen to be used in the project will be produced by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, from clean renewable energy sources available on the islands, and will power a ferry operating between the main town of Kirkwall and the island of Shapinsay.

The 12-month HyDIME (Hydrogen Diesel Injection in a Marine Environment) project, which formally commenced on August 1, 2018, aims to help de-risk and kick-start future hydrogen marine projects and contribute to reducing emissions within the maritime industry. Led by Ferguson Marine Engineering, the project will be executed by a consortium consisting of Orkney Islands Council, High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI), EMEC, Lloyd’s Register and Ultra Low Emission Mileage Company (ULEMCo).

Ferguson Marine and ULEMCo will develop the design of how hydrogen-diesel injection technology can work in tandem with existing systems to power auxiliary units on board vessels. Following this, the system will be physically integrated and will result in the UK’s first hydrogen injection system on this type of vessel. EMEC’s tidal test facility on the island of Eday in Orkney, will feed the area’s surplus of renewable electricity into an electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen; the former can then be stored and transported.

Also part of the project, HSSMI will conduct a scale-up analysis and carry out a techno-economic assessment of the current system and of potential future scenarios. The aim is to determine if there are any other regions of the UK where similar hydrogen infrastructure could be implemented, leading to similar and larger projects to contribute toward growing the hydrogen economy in the UK.

Chris Dunn, chief naval architect at Ferguson Marine, said, “Over recent years Ferguson Marine has been at the global forefront of green marine propulsion technology development. This exciting project is yet another positive step on that journey, joining up with world-leading technology innovators to move us one step closer to our goal of delivering a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered commercial ro-pax ferry by 2020.”

- October 2018

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