GAC Norway has signed up to play a vital role in a major Norwegian hydrogen energy project as part of the GAC Group’s commitment to sustainability and accelerating decarbonisation across the wider maritime industry.
The HyValue initiative will look to develop knowledge, methodology and innovative solutions for the production of hydrogen energy carriers in a bid to further Norway’s transition to a low emission society.
The project is being led by NORCE, one of Norway’s largest independent research institutes, and will receive funding of NOK15 million per year until 2030 from the Norwegian government’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
GAC Norway will leverage the wider GAC Group’s experience and expertise of low carbon and sustainable bunker fuels to support the HyValue initiative for the development of strategies for the storage, handling and bunkering of hydrogen in maritime applications.
It will also assist with the development of maritime logistics and supply chain mechanisms, as well as understanding regulations and financial incentives to promote the advantages of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source for shipping.
“We will draw on the valuable experience we have gained working with scientists, large-scale research organisations and major maritime partners to support this important initiative,” says Ole Fredrik Torpe, GAC Norway’s Quality, Training and Development Officer.
“We look forward to applying our wealth of experience to the HyValue project, working side-by-side with the best scientists and universities in Norway whilst demonstrating the global reach and operational excellence of the entire GAC Group.”
Fionn Iversen, HyValue’s Centre Director, adds: “We are very happy to have GAC onboard as a user partner and look forward to working together to develop hydrogen-based solutions that will lower maritime transport sector emissions. GAC’s competency, knowledge and experience related to maritime operations will be very valuable for reaching HyValue’s goals.”
As the maritime industry continues its drive towards decarbonisation and the International Maritime Organisation’s goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, hydrogen is proving to be the alternative fuel of choice for shipowners around the world.
Hydrogen provides a greener alternative to traditional bunker fuels as it can be produced renewably from electrical energy and bio-renewable processes, is carbon and sulphur free and will disperse organically in the event of a leak.
Hydrogen-powered ferries and smaller shipping vessels are currently in use in Europe and North America, and several major oil and gas players are investing in hydrogen production projects in Europe and Asia. However, there is still a need to develop large-scale storage and handling facilities for hydrogen as it must be compressed into a liquid and kept under high pressure for use as a fuel.
The Group’s global network combined with GAC Bunker Fuels’ strong relationships with fuel suppliers and ports, means the company is ideally placed to play a leading role in the supply of alternative and sustainable fuels, including hydrogen, as they become more widely available.
GAC Norway’s partnership with HyValue is the latest step in the wider GAC Group’s sustainability strategy, which includes a commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals and a net carbon zero future.
“GAC Bunker Fuels has pledged zero oil-based bunker sales by 1 January 2030,” says Nicholas Browne, Global Director of GAC Bunker Fuels and Head of the GAC Group’s Sustainability Working Group. “We are proud to contribute our skills and experience at such an early stage in the development of hydrogen as a marine fuel.”
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