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CMB and Vestas Test Out Hydrogen-Powered CTV for Wind Farm Service

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Courtesy CMB.TECH

Published Jul 4, 2022 3:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

Offshore wind turbine supplier Vestas is working with a division of Companie Maritime Belgique (CMB) to test out the world's first hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel (CTV) for its turbine maintenance operations. 

CMB.TECH's CTV is powered by a dual-fuel engine that can burn hydrogen in  combination with diesel. The base engine is manufactured by MAN Engines for dual fuel use and retrofitted by CMB.TECH with a hydrogen injection system. Hydrogen fuel has zero carbon content, and the propulsion system could reduce carbon emissions by more than a third when compared with a traditional arrangement, according to Vestas. Since green hydrogen is not available in quantity for the project, the trial will run using grey hydrogen, a relatively high-emission fuel (on a well-to-wake basis). 

"By using dual fuel combustion engines, we can make hydrogen technology operational in the industry and kick-start further development of the technology, regulation, supply chain, etc. Collaborations like these are what is needed to be able to scale this technology further," said Willem van der Wel, Managing Director of Windcat Workboats, the CMB subsidiary that will manage the boat's operations. 

The vessel will be tested out as part of a pilot program at the Norther Wind Farm, and it will run from July 15 through the end of the year. The program will give Vestas its first chance to try out hydrogen as part of its seagoing operations, with a view towards collecting data and experience for further scale-up. It will also validate the expected fuel and emissions savings.

“Hard to abate sectors, such as shipping, will be the final frontier in our global journey towards decarbonisation. Hydrogen is a crucial technology to advance this journey, which is why Vestas is eager to test its potential to reduce emissions from our service operations," said Christian Venderby, EVP of Service at Vestas. "A broader application of decarbonizing technologies can only progress with support from industry leaders."

Hydrogen internal combustion engines are a technology of interest to many other engine developers, including Japan Engine Corporation, Kawasaki, Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC), Wärtsilä, Cox Marine and Bergen Engines, among others.