NatPower H and ZHA to revolutionise yachting industry with hydrogen refuelling infrastructure

NatPower H and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have collaborated to develop a hydrogen refuelling station and support recreational boating.

The hydrogen-powered infrastructure is expected to be installed by the summer of 2024 and be worth around €100m. The project has already been adhered to by 25 Italian marinas and ports, with the aim of deploying 100 fuel stations by 2030.

ZHA will design the stations and NatPower H will ensure a total of 100 facilities are installed over the next six years, along with exporting the model to areas beyond the Mediterranean Sea.

ZHA’s design will focus on the Mediterranean context, which can allow them to be strategically located at various coastal locations. The stations will also be fully recyclable as non-reinforced, dry-assembled masonry, therefore reducing the need for carpentry during construction.

Fabrizio Zago, Group CEO at NatPower, said, “On the back of a renewable project pipeline that already exceeds 23GW, we decided to create NatPower H – the first global operator for the production, storage and distribution of green hydrogen – to build the world’s first hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for recreational boating.

“We believe hydrogen to be one of the most efficient solutions capable of driving the energy transition of the entire recreational boating and yachting industry. Specifically, the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier through fuel cells and electric motors is proving to be one of the most promising options, offering excellent performance while respecting the environment.”

NatPower H designed the green hydrogen fuel solution based on “safety, scalability, and complete sustainability.” The green hydrogen will be supplied using the best technologies in compliance with current regulations and a focus on the circularity and protection of the maritime ecosystem.

NatPower H CEO, Andrea Minerdo, said, “The Italian shipbuilding industry ranks first in the world in terms of the number of boats built, and our aim is to facilitate the energy transition of this crucial market, promoting the use of hydrogen-powered yachts and boats with no direct CO2 emissions.

“Although the project has only just been launched, we already have a pipeline of 25 agreements with Italian marinas and ports, allowing us to start developing a global network of widespread hydrogen fuel stations.”

Filippo Innocenti, Director of ZHA, added, “ZHA’s hydrogen refuel boating stations will be built with unreinforced low-energy digital concrete. With structural strength arising from geometry rather than engineered materials, we found a connection between the established past of ancient construction techniques and advanced sustainable, circular technologies.”

NatPower H will be the official technical sponsor of the Bluegame in the 2024 America’s Cup. It also signed an agreement for the design and construction of hydrogen-powered chase boats for two of the six teams participating in the 37th America’s Cup.

NatPower H will collaborate with key players in the international boating industry, such as Baglietto shipyards, to demonstrate the feasibility of widespread hydrogen distribution to the yachting market.

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