Project: Zero emission Oslo ferry

An illustration of the hydrogen-powered ferry that DFDS and its partners aim to develop.


DFDS and its partners have applied for EU support for development of a ferry powered by electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell which only emits water. Green hydrogen is to be produced by a projected offshore wind energy-powered electrolyser plant in Greater Copenhagen.

The Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen route  currently suffers under the pandemic. ”However, this does not mean that DFDS has lost sight of the long-term development of this historic and important route – or our ambitious climate plan targets. On the contrary, we have partnered with other major companies in order to develop a 100% hydrogen powered ferry that can eventually be used on this route – or another route,” says Torben Carlsen.

The power will be provided by a hydrogen fuel cell that emits nothing but water and can produce up to 23 MW to propel the ferry.

“The largest fuel cells today produce only 1-5 MW, and the development of  such  large-scale fuel cell installations  for maritime operation is a monumental task, which we can only succeed with in partnerships between companies that together can muster some of the globe’s finest expertise in design, approval, building, financing and operation of innovative vessels,” says Jakob Steffensen, Innovation and Environment  lead. Along with Mads Bentzen Billesø, he has shaped the idea in close dialogue with the project partners and DFDS colleagues from across the organisation.

The partnership committed to achieving this includes DFDS, ABB, Ballard Power Systems, Hexagon Purus, Lloyd’s Register, KNUD E. HANSEN, Ørsted and Danish Ship Finance.

“Together, we expect to learn how to make these fuel types and technologies commercially viable, which is key to a transition of the industry to climate neutrality, which is also the ultimate goal of DFDS’ climate plan,” says Torben.

The partnership has applied for support from the EU Innovation Fund. As there are no ferries of this kind in the world today, the development of the ferry will require public involvement. However, if the project develops as projected, the ferry could be in full operation on the route as early as 2027.

The hydrogen will be produced locally in Greater Copenhagen based on offshore wind, and the project will investigate how to optimally integrate with the local energy system.

The ferry that has the working name Europa Seaways, is designed for 1,800 passengers and has capacity for 120 lorries or 380 cars.


Vessel and route details
On board power production PEM Fuel cells
Engine power 23MW
Fuel Compressed hydrogen
Fuel tank capacity 44T
Passenger capacity 1.800
Trailer & Car capacity 2.300 lanemeters
Route Copenhagen – Frederikshavn – Oslo
Roundtrip time 48 hours
Bunkering interval 48 hours
CO2e/year emission avoidance 64.000 Tons





Hydrogen tanks top left

November 26, 2020