Wintershall Studies Hydrogen-Powered Vessels
Germany's Wintershall Dea is working with partners to convert supply vessels serving the Mittelplate oil production island in the German North Sea to run on hydrogen fuel, the company announced on October 21.
"By investigating the conversion of the supply ships to hydrogen-powered fuel cells, we are using technical innovations to protect the Wadden Sea as a world heritage site and further minimise emissions," Wintershall Dea's chief technology officer Hugo Dijkgraaf commented. "Together with our partners Entec and Acta Marine, we are assessing the feasibility of upgrading the existing fleet of supply vessels with hydrogen hybrid engines."
The four supply vessels in the Mittelplate fleet travel 23,150 km/yr, transporting supplies to the island, consuming around 275,000 litres of diesel. Entec, which operates Mittelplate's land base in Cuxhaven, recently completed a feasibility study on the project. The first step will involve fitting the Coastal Liberty vessel with a hybrid propulsion system, paving the way for development of maritime hydrogen infrastructure in the area.
The Mittelplate oilfield is Germany's largest in production volumes and Wintershall Dea has been flowing crude from the site for 33 years. It already boasts very low emissions of just 17.5 kg of CO2/barrel of oil equivalent, according to Wintershall Dea, but will emit just 0.4 kg from 2021 onwards.
"Through measures such as converting the ship drives to hydrogen hybrid or running the facilities with 100% certified green electricity, as adopted recently, Wintershall Dea is setting a very ambitious bar for the future," Wintershall Dea said.