BBK, Air Liquide and Equinor behind ‘Europe’s first’ maritime value chain project for liquid hydrogen
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BBK, Air Liquide and Equinor behind ‘Europe’s first’ maritime value chain project for liquid hydrogen

BBK, Air Liquide and Equinor have joined forces to develop a maritime value chain project for liquid hydrogen – and it’s is believed to be a first for Europe.

Dubbed Aurora, the project will see construction of a brand-new liquid hydrogen production facility that will be located in Mongstad, Norway, close to an Equinor facility.

Through cooperation with Wilhelmsen’s planned liquid hydrogen-powered “Topeka” ro-ro vessels, the partners will distribute liquid hydrogen from Mongstad across western Norway.

Read more: Wilhelmsen and Hyundai to research alternative vessel fuels

Once fully operational, it is hoped the Aurora project will deliver six tonnes of renewable liquid hydrogen produced via electrolysis each day.

Subject to investment decisions, the Aurora project aims to make liquid hydrogen available for commercial shipping by early 2024.

Showcasing support for the effort, Norwegian public enterprise Enova has shortlisted the project as one of the candidate projects for Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

“We are happy to see that the Aurora project is among the highest-rated Norwegian initiatives with regards to Enova’s selection criteria,” said, Ingrid Von Streng Velken, Executive Vice-President of Innovation and Development BKK.

“Through the matchmaking we will be able to bring the Norwegian development work and our knowledge from the use of hydrogen in maritime to a European level, and to embed it in a larger European initiative.”

“Aurora is the first initiative in Europe that aims to build a complete value chain producing and using green liquid hydrogen for maritime shipping applications,” added, Lars Strandberg, Vice-President Hydrogen Energy Europe Industries of Air Liquide.

“Liquid hydrogen has a tremendous potential to help decarbonise maritime transport and become a zero-emission alternative for shipping.”

“Aurora is an important step on the journey towards decarbonising the maritime shipping sector and Equinor is playing an important role both in the production of renewable liquid hydrogen as well as in stimulating the market for zero-emission shipping fuels by shifting cargoes from road-based transport to the Topeka base-to-base vessels,” said, Steinar Eikaas, Vice-President of Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor.

Greening up the global supply chain: Hydrogen-powered, low carbon shipping is on the horizon

In H2 View’s April issue, Brian Reid, Chief Sales Officer at RIX Industries, discusses all things low-carbon shipping.

The shipping industry is in the spotlight – facing environmental mandates that require a whole new way of thinking about ship propulsion. Incremental goals such as cleaner diesel are a start, but the reality is much more significant. Monumental shifts are on the horizon, poised to drive new kinds of engines, cleaner fuels such as hydrogen, and modernised ships that reflect a greater level of environmental responsibility. Hydrogen generation on-vessel, on-demand unlocks it all.

Guided by mandates from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a UN body, shipbuilders are tasked with reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and by at least 50% by 2050. (Note that using a 2008 baseline, the 2050 goal reduces carbon intensity overall by 70 percent.)1 This is only one step toward the definitive goal: complete elimination of the industry’s notable carbon impact. How notable? The ocean research group Oceana pegs global shipping as the world’s sixth-largest polluter, in line behind the US, China, Russia, India, and Japan. It’s a level of pollution that demonstrates the need as well as the challenge: energy efficiency measures are not enough to meet IMO mandates, and new fuels are required. Hydrogen fits the bill as a proven clean fuel option but has not been widely deployed on maritime vessels due to a slate of logistical, regulatory, and safety requirements.

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