The initial objective of the project is to prove the vessel’s modular drive train onshore, testing for stress and durability under conditions employing real-world data from existing vessels.

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The successful test will allow the vessel to be constructed. The vessel is planned to operate in and around Orkney, which produces hydrogen in volume from constrained renewable energy.

HySeas III Communications Manager, John Morgan of Ferguson Marine, commented:

We are aiming to launch the first Hydrogen ferry by 2021. There are a few European groups in the market with similar ambitions, but we believe ours can be the first vessel on this scale and we still expect to be the world’s first vehicle and passenger Hydrogen ferry.

The HySeas III project will formally begin on 1 July 2018.

HySeas III is jointly led by Ferguson Marine and the University of St Andrews and also includes Orkney Islands Council, Kongsberg Maritime, Ballard Power Systems Europe, McPhy; DLR and Interferry, the world’s largest ferry owners’ organisation.