Samskip leads Norway's next generation of sustainable shortsea shipping
Netherlands-headed Samskip Multimodal BV, Europe's largest multimodal operator has been named lead partner in ‘Seashuttle', a project seeking to bring emissions-free, autonomous container ships to market that also operate at a profit. The announcement coincides with the award of EUR 6 million of Norwegian government money to Project SeaShuttle to take forward development of two all-electric ships slated to connect Poland, Swedish west coast ports and the Oslo fjord.
Seashuttle is one of six initiatives included in ‘PILOT-E’, a EUR 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.
Seashuttle funding came from four Norwegian ministries – Food and Fishing; Climate and Environment; Petroleum and Energy; and Transport and Communications.
Samskip is delighted to take the lead in the project to develop next generation sustainable shortsea shipping. 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, said Are Grathen, Managing Director, Samskip Norway.
The vessels will draw on state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cells for their propulsion power. According to Grathen, aspirations for sustainability are best encouraged by door-to-door services that provided cost-effective and scalable competition with truck-ferry options, feeding into a pan-European distribution network. Automation of key shipboard activities would also 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. Once operational, there is no reason why zero emissions ships should not target the 2 000 truckloads passing through Norwegian ports every day, Grathen said.
Other Seashuttle partners include logistics consultant FlowChange AS, technology group Kongsberg Maritime AS, hydrogen integrator Hyon AS and Massterly AS, a Kongsberg Maritime and Wilhelmsen Group venture developing autonomous vessel solutions.
Green shipping is a sector where Norway can be world leader in new and green technology. 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, said Anita Krohn Traaseth, CEO, Innovation Norway.