Contract for hydrogen powered CTVs
Wind farm major Vattenfall has signed a contract with Windcat Workboats for the provision of crew transfer vessels (CTVs) to service the Hollandse Kust Zuid 1&2 offshore wind farm.
Under this agreement, Vattenfall will be one of the first users of Windcat’s hydrogen-powered vessels that are currently being developed. Windcat has pioneered many innovations in the crew transfer vessel sector and this use of hydrogen power represents a major step forward particularly as it appears likely that the hydrogen will be produced from surplus electrical power developed from wind farms.
Windcat is working closely with Belgium based CMB Technologies on the development of these innovative vessels with the first of these craft expected to be completed by 2020. CMB is a major shipping company and it will be their research and development arm that will undertake the development of the new hydrogen fuelled vessels. CMB has considerable experience in the use of hydrogen as marine fuel and in the long term this development is aimed at used hydrogen as a fuel for the company’s ships.
In 2017 CMB Technologies was responsible for the design and development of the Hydroville which is claimed to be the first hydrogen fuelled passenger vessel with class approval. This vessel was built in the UK by BWSeacat Ltd and was powered by a pair of engines totalling 441kW with the option of operating on hydrogen or diesel fuel. The hydrogen is stored in 12 stainless steel 205 litre tanks at 200 bar and the engines on this 14 metre long catamaran gave a top speed of 27 knots.
The development and operation of Hydroville should give Windcat sufficient confidence to upgrade the same technology for use in a Crew Transfer Vessel for operation from the Vattenfall base at Ijmuiden which has been selected as the home base for O&M activities for the 700MW project. No information has been released about the size and type of engines that will be specified for these new CTVs
Hollandse Kust Zuid 1&2 will be the world’s first offshore wind project to be built without public subsidy. The project, located 22km from the coast, is expected to be commissioned in 2022.
By Dag Pike
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