Multimodal logistics provider Samskip has been named lead partner in Seashuttle – a project that aims to bring emissions-free, autonomous container ships to market.
The Norwegian government will support the project with a NOK6 million (USD685,000) grant to develop two all-electric ships that will connect Poland with Swedish west coast ports and Norway’s Oslofjord.
The vessels will draw on state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cells for their propulsion, said Samskip.
Seashuttle is one of six initiatives included in PILOT-E, a EUR100 million-plus (USD113 million) scheme involving the Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova.
Are Grathen, managing director at Samskip Norway, said: “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.”
Other Seashuttle partners include logistics consultant FlowChange; technology group Kongsberg Maritime; hydrogen integrator HYON; and Massterly, a Kongsberg Maritime and Wilhelmsen venture developing autonomous vessel solutions.
Final Seashuttle ports of call are yet to be determined. Currently, the project envisages zero emissions during 20 percent of a round trip between Poland and Oslofjord. This percentage will grow as hydrogen fuel becomes available along the service route, said Samskip.
As an experienced logistics provider for transport of breakbulk and project cargo, Samskip offers regular sailings within Europe as well as from Europe to Russia and Central Asia, under the following service brands: European Caspian Shipping Line (ECSL); Black Sea Line; Baltic Sea Line; and Northern Russia Line.