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Samskip sets its sights on autonomous ships

Samskip is has been named lead partner in ‘Seashuttle’, a project seeking to bring emissions-free, autonomous container ships that also operate at a profit to market.

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Samskip sets its sights on autonomous ships

Seashuttle is one of six initiatives included in ‘PILOT-E’, ​a €100 million-plus scheme involving the Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova, aiming to bring solutions for the climate-neutral industries of the future to market more quickly. Naming Samskip lead partner coincides with the award of €6M from the Norwegian government towards the development of two all-electric ships slated to connect Poland, Swedish west coast ports and the Oslo fjord. The vessels will draw on state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cells for their propulsion power.

 

“Samskip is delighted to take the lead in the project to develop next generation sustainable shortsea shipping,” said Are Grathen, MD Samskip Norway. “What distinguishes this project and will be key to its success is the combination of fuel and technology that will make it cost competitive with existing solutions. With our trusted project partners, we are convinced that such ambitions are realistic.”

 

Samskip expects that automation of “key shipboard activities” will bring cost savings. “Exporters increasingly seek lower and even zero emissions transport solutions, but they need to be assured on reliability, frequency, efficiency and cost effectiveness,” said Grathen. Once operational, there is no reason why zero emissions ships should not target the 2,000 truck loads passing through Norwegian ports every day, he adds.

 

Other Seashuttle partners include logistics consultant FlowChange, technology group Kongsberg Maritime, hydrogen integrator HYON and Massterly, a Kongsberg Maritime/Wilhelmsen venture developing autonomous vessel solutions.

 

"Green shipping is a sector where Norway can be world leader in new and green technology,” said Anita Krohn Traaseth, CEO, Innovation Norway. “The conversion is underway, for example with many electric ferries. This year’s PILOT-E ​awards ​show that there are exciting plans to make shipping more environmentally friendly."

 

"This is an important milestone on the long sailing to make the maritime sector emission free. We believe hydrogen and fuel cells are the future for large and long-distance ships, and we need projects like this in order to solve technical and practical issues, added Marius Gjerset, Technology Manager, Zero Emission Resource Organisation (ZERO).”

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