World’s largest marine fuel cell installation


Two zero-emission ferries


On Norway’s most extended and weather-exposed ferry connection between Lofoten and Bodø, Torghatten Nord will develop and operate hydrogen ferries. The solution includes Marine System 200, providing the two ferries with 6 MW power each and 15 years of service by PowerCell.

In the extreme conditions in northern Norway, the ferries will operate daily all year, and the project is one of the world’s largest marine hydrogen fuel cell projects. With it, PowerCell is a part of breaking new ground for what is possible for maritime zero-emission solutions.

The Norwegian energy shift

Hydrogen is a critical component needed to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, and Norwegian authorities have supported the development of hydrogen technologies for many years. One of the fastest-developing hydrogen applications is the maritime and transport sector, and the ferry project is a significant step in the marine energy transition.

“The fact that future ferries between Bodø and Lofoten are run 100 percent on hydrogen is a new milestone when it comes to climate”, Norwegian Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård says.

The ferries will reduce CO2 emissions by 26,500 tons annually compared to today’s ferries operated on liquid natural gas (LNG). It corresponds to the annual emissions from 13,000 diesel cars.

Norway’s transitioning track record

Norway has already shown its transition capability by introducing LNG as an alternative to diesel. That transition started with a few ferries and became a full-scale shift in a few years.

“Now we have taken this one step further and are using hydrogen on a large scale. We have introduced requirements to ensure that hydrogen ferries will be at least as stable as diesel and gas ferries in terms of operation,” says Anders Sæternes, Director of Ferry Management at Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA).

Long routes demand new solutions
Electric ferries are becoming increasingly common today, but battery-electric propulsion is not viable for longer routes like the one between Bodø and Lofoten. Therefore, Torghatten Nord has consequently developed a design for hydrogen ferries in collaboration with Norwegian Ship Design, SEAM and PowerCell.

The solution

With hydrogen powering the propulsion and all other energy consumers on board, hydrogen storage and fuel cells are two vital components. PowerCell will deliver its PowerCellution Marine System 200, with a total power output of around 6 MW for each ferry. The fuel cell system is durable, has a high power-to-weight ratio, and is one of the world’s largest for marine use.


PowerCell has worked intensely with system safety, securing all aspects of the operation in the challenging marine environment. After a comprehensive risk-based HAZID certification, Lloyd’s Register awarded the project an Approval in Principle (AiP).
Propulsion operation is vital in marine vessels and even more essential in the rough conditions of northern Norway. Dividing the drivelines into different sections provides redundancy in the propulsion system and always ensures operation.
“We have evaluated a number of different solutions for the onboard hydrogen system and have come up with a unique and safe concept that takes hydrogen’s properties into account. What we are developing now will likely set the standard for an entire class of passenger ships powered by hydrogen”, says Gjermund Johannessen, CEO, Norwegian Ship Design.


The redundancy also provides the opportunity to service one system at a time. The solution is well adapted to marine service conditions, with fuel cell modules possible to pull out one by one for maintenance.
The operation will run for 15 years, from 2025 to 2040, and PowerCell will provide the fuel cell system service for the entire duration.