Brittany expects an inventory of 10 hydrogen-powered boats by 2030

Brittany hydrogen-powered ships
Brittany expects an inventory of 10 hydrogen-powered boats by 2030

French region Brittany intends to reveal its hydrogen strategy at Hyvolution 2024. While it has serious ambitions in terms of offshore wind energy and fishing, the region is setting concrete goals for maritime mobility.

In fact, Brittany intends to build a first fleet of 10 pilot hydrogen-powered boats (from 500 kW to 6 MW) for passenger service, freight cabotage, handling and fishing. Construction of the first ship of the series has already kicked off. Named “L’île d’Arz” (the Isle of Arz), the ship is intended for passenger transport in the Morbihan Gulf and will be based in Vannes starting from 2025. This first “zero-emission” vessel with a capacity of 150 passengers will require the set-up of a hydrogen station in the port of Vannes. It prefigures other models adapted to island freight or ones with greater capacity such as RORO (Roll-on/Roll-off) vessels providing connections to the islands of Groix or Finistère.

Regular launches until 2030

Other ships are due to be commissioned in 2026, 2028 and 2030 respectively. The candidates sought to lead these large-scale industrial projects will have to come up with innovative solutions, in particular to meet the challenge of storing large quantities of hydrogen on board in limited spaces. The region sees this as an opportunity to mobilize industrial partnerships, launch studies, train professionals in the marine construction industry, and to develop standards and regulatory frameworks.

Brittany, which is the largest fishing region, has commissioned studies into switching part of its fleet to hydrogen. The approach has given way to a hydrogen barge project (Estebam) and to the implementation of a fuel cell on board an existing fishing ship (Project PilotHy).

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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

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Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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