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Ballard powers Coastal Liberty zero-emission retrofit and testing in North Sea

Coastal Liberty

Following a decarbonization retrofit, the Coastal Liberty offshore service supply vessel has successfully completed initial zero-emission sea trials in the North Sea – powered by Ballard.

As part of a project ecosystem that includes eCap Marine, Acta Marine and DNV, Ballard has delivered two FCwave™ fuel cell engines providing 400kW of power – coupled with 280kWh from Lehmann Marine batteries  - which forms the H2PowerPac hydrogen power generator that drives the tug. Following commissioning of the system, it received DNV approval in February 2024.

Coastal Liberty's operation forms part of the H2Move program, which was launched in November 2023 to enhance hydrogen production and infrastructure to support maritime transport in Cuxhaven, Germany.

Hydrogen produced at the onshore facility in Cuxhaven is transported in tank trailers to the Coastal Liberty vessel, where it is converted into electricity through Ballard's fuel cells. This electricity is then stored in batteries, powering the ship's electric motor. This zero-emission transition represents shift towards sustainable maritime operations but also contributes to reducing environmental impact in the sensitive Wadden Sea area - off the coast of the Netherlands - where the ship operates.

Coastal Liberty FC system

eCap Marine's H2PowerPac harnesses hydrogen fuel cell technology to drive a mobile, emission free generator which powers the offshore vessel and enables efficient and sustainable energy production.

Delivering a safe and reliable power supply,  the H2PowerPac is designed for flexibility and adaptable to a range of applications, as well as being intuitive, efficient and cost-effective when it comes to energy production. The zero-emission innovation is a versatile solution with capacity to support mobile vehicles, remote and isolated sites, and reliable emergency back-up power.

"Through the decarbonization of vessels like Coastal Liberty, the maritime industry is making substantial strides toward sustainability, showcasing the practical and environmental advantages of hydrogen fuel cells in reducing maritime emissions and supporting global energy transition efforts."

Thomas Therkild Petersen Product Line Manager, Marine, Ballard

Thomas Therkild Petersen-2

The 43-meter offshore supply ship has been in service since 1997 and has mainly been active working at a UNESCO world heritage site in the Wadden Sea.

This retrofit is the first of four involving supply vessels in a fleet owned by energy company Wintershall Sea. Coastal Liberty will now continue to transport people and materials between Cuxhaven and the Mittelplate drilling and production island, emission free.