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15 Mar 2023

First Hydrogen-Powered Ferry in the U.S. to Begin Service Within Weeks

First Hydrogen-Powered Ferry in the U.S. to Begin Service Within Weeks
Image credit: Switch Maritime

The hydrogen fuel cell-powered ferry Sea Change has arrived in San Francisco and is preparing for operations. It will be the first vessel of its kind in the USA and is on track to begin operations within weeks, demonstrating the use of hydrogen onboard in a practical maritime application. The ferry was towed in San Francisco this month.

Sea Change will carry up to 75 passengers at speeds of about 16 knots using 250 kilos of compressed hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells. She will serve on San Francisco Bay Ferry’s network, which connects the downtown waterfront with Alameda, Oakland, Richmond and Vallejo, reported The Maritime Executive.

Delivered in August 2022 and fuelled for the first time in November 2021, it was predicted by its owner that it would begin operations in June 2022.

Hydrogen fuel will be provided by West coast clean fuels, a joint venture between Pasha, World Fuel Services and Clean Marine Energy.

A few hydrogen-powered ferries are already in limited operation in Japan and Norway. The CMB shipping dynasty in Belgium has introduced a hydrogen-powered tug which began operations last year.

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