VESSEL REVIEW | HydroBingo – World’s first hydrogen ferry starts operating in Japan

VESSEL REVIEW | HydroBingo – World’s first hydrogen ferry starts operating in Japan

Photo: CMB

Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi Facilities and Craft (TFC) has delivered a new catamaran ferry powered by dual-fuel engines that can operate on hydrogen.

Named HydroBingo, the newbuild has an aluminium hull, a gross tonnage of 19, an LOA of 19.4 metres, a beam of 5.4 metres, and capacity for 80 passengers and two crewmembers in an enclosed main deck and a canopied, open-air upper deck. It is being operated by JPN H2YDRO, a 50-50 joint venture company formed by TFC and Belgian shipbuilder and marine technology specialist CMB Group with the aim of further developing hydrogen internal combustion technology for use within the Japanese domestic shipping market.

TFC has claimed that the new ferry is the first purpose-built small passenger vessel in the world to be powered by hydrogen. It is also one of two hydrogen-powered vessels being developed by JPN H2YDRO; the other vessel will be what the partners claim is the first hydrogen-powered harbour tug to be built and operated in Asia.

HydroBingo is also equipped with a CO2 emission reduction system developed by CMB Group subsidiary CMB.TECH. TFC said that the system can help ensure CO2 emissions reductions of as much as 50 per cent compared to diesel-powered passenger vessels of similar size and capacity.

Photo: Tsuneishi

The ferry’s two hydrogen-diesel engines each produce 441 kW to deliver a maximum speed of 26 knots and cruising speeds of between 18 and 22 knots.

HydroBingo is equipped with a mobile hydrogen storage trailer at the stern. This trailer is designed to supply hydrogen to the engines via a special double-walled pipeline separate from the fuel line that connects the engines to the diesel tanks.

With the aid of a roll-on/roll-off ramp, the trailer can be unloaded easily and can be brought to a compressed hydrogen refueling station for refill and then transported back to the ferry prior to sailing. This configuration eliminates the need for complex, limited-use hydrogen bunkering facilities in the ports along the ferry’s route. The hydrogen fuel used by the ferry will be supplied by chemical company Tokuyama.

The ferry was designed and built in compliance to dual-fuel ship design standards under the IMO’s International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and according to the Safety Guidelines for Hydrogen Fuelled and Fuel Cell Ships.

HydroBingo recently completed trial sailings out of Tokuyama-Kudamatsu Port in Yamaguchi prefecture in south-western Japan. Operational sailings within the Seto Inland Sea commenced shortly afterwards, and the newbuild has since replaced an older ferry in providing shuttle services along the same routes.

Click here for the other news, features and reviews comprising this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Type of vessel: Ferry
Classification: IMO IGF Code
Flag: Japan
Owner: JPN H2YDRO, Japan/Belgium
Operator: JPN H2YDRO, Japan/Belgium
Designer: CMB Group, Belgium
Builder: Tsuneishi Facilities and Craft, Japan
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 19.4 metres
Beam: 5.4 metres
Gross tonnage: 19
Main engines: 2 x 441 kW
Maximum speed: 26 knots
Cruising speed: 22 knots
Other equipment installed: Hydrogen storage trailer; aft trailer ramp; CMB.TECH CO2 emission reduction system
Type of fuel: Diesel; hydrogen
Crew: 2
Passengers: 80

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