Construction of first Lithuanian hydrogen-electric ship begins

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Construction has started on Lithuania’s first hydrogen-electric ship, featuring twin electric motors, and a hydrogen fuel cell for up to 36 hours operation.

The first Lithuanian hydrogen-electric ship’s construction began at Western Baltija Shipbuilding (WBS), commissioned by the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.

The ship is designed for waste management. According to current regulations, all ships arriving at or departing from the Port of Klaipėda must dispose of all ship-generated waste at a port reception facility. The Port Authority has been entrusted to provide a waste collection service. To further increase the quality of its service for waste collection from ships, the company has decided to use modern and environmentally friendly equipment to achieve this.

The hull, superstructure, and wheelhouse will be constructed at the Western Baltija Shipbuilding at the Port of Klaipėda, along with the installation of cargo systems and other works. The Estonian company, Baltic Workboats is responsible for the installation of the main and auxiliary machinery, and the harmonisation and testing of all the ship systems. A hydrogen fuel cell system will be installed in Estonia as well.

Read more: Klaipeda hydrogen project is underway for implementation

The main challenge for the shipbuilders is to design and build a ship for the collection of oily bilge water, sewage, sludge, and other waste. It will need to be equipped with waste collection tanks and an oily bilge water treatment plant that will treat the waste waters and transfer everything along with the sewage to the city’s onshore wastewater treatment plant. It is envisaged that the ship will operate on a 24-hour basis.

The ship, 42 metres long and 10 metres wide, will be able to collect 400 cubic metres of liquid waste. It will be equipped with two electric motors powered by batteries with a capacity of 2000 kWh and an installed on-board hydrogen fuel cell system. Depending on the intensity of work, the ship will be able to operate within the Port of Klaipėda for up to 36 hours on a single charge.

This ship-building project with a total value of €12 million has been commissioned by the Port Authority and is being built by Baltic Workboats, under a joint operating agreement with Western Baltija Shipbuilding. The ship is expected to sail in the waters of the Port of Klaipėda at the end of next year.

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