Green, hydrogen-powered offshore construction support vessel

The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel is designed for marine operations of today and tomorrow. Running on hydrogen, it can shrink the environmental footprint of offshore renewables.

Offshore wind is a highly promising source of renewable energy. However, the vessels used when building and servicing offshore wind farms conventionally run on fossil fuels.

To meet growing demand for zero-emission operations as well as the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) target of halving transport emissions by 2050, new vessels that run on alternative fuels are needed.

Hydrogen is the cleanest alternative fuel, when produced with renewable energy or from natural gas with carbon capture. However, due to its lower energy density, hydrogen requires larger storage volumes than diesel oil in ambient temperatures,. Moreover, ports currently lack hydrogen fuelling infrastructure.

Hydrogen-powered hybrid vessel for offshore wind farms

The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel is a key step towards zero-emission offshore vessels and marks the start of Ulstein’s roadmap to a hydrogen future.

Designed using proven and readily available technology, the vessel can already operate in DP mode for up to five days using hydrogen fuel. For prolonged operations, the vessel can be powered by a more conventional diesel-electric system using low sulphur fuel oil.

The hydrogen fuel cells are located in a separate, second engine room. To keep the vessel independent of hydrogen bunkering facilities, hydrogen storage containers are located on the aft deck. These containers can be refilled by quayside trucks or lifted off the vessel for transport to hydrogen production sites.

Concrete benefits

Due to the current lack of hydrogen bunkering facilities, the ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission vessel does not have large hydrogen storage tanks.

When hydrogen bunkering infrastructure becomes available in ports, the vessel can be retrofitted, without major modification or expense, with two large, below-deck liquid hydrogen storage tanks. This will extend the hydrogen fuel range to a full month. After retrofitting, the on-deck hydrogen storage containers will be removed, freeing the deck for commercial use.

The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission vessel demonstrates that an offshore vessel can already be operated in zero emission mode using current, off-the-shelf technology. It also enables shipowners to become early adopters by investing in a ship that can easily be adapted to future hydrogen developments.

Market potential

The offshore wind market is projected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2040 and is expected to drive demand for zero-emission vessels for offshore wind farms.

The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission design is market-ready. Sea trials of a newbuild could take place as early as 2022.

Ulstein Group is a large group of shipbuilding, ship design and supporting companies. Founded in 1917, it is one of Norway’s largest shipbuilders and has been active in the offshore wind market for well over a decade.

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Ulstein Group ASA

PO Box 278, NO-6067 Ulsteinvik, Norway

+47 70 00 80 00

At a glance

  • Zero emissions when running on hydrogen

  • Diesel-electric engine for longer missions

  • Designed for cryogenic/liquid hydrogen tank retrofit when bunkering infrastructures becomes available



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