CMB’s Windcat Workboats Will Add Six Hydrogen-Powered CTVs by 2024
Owner/operator of offshore crew transfer vessels Windcat Workboats announces plans to add six additional hydrogen-powered vessels to its fleet servicing Europe’s offshore wind and energy sector. A division of Belgium’s Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) the company is focusing on the emerging opportunities tied to the offshore wind sector.
Windcat Workboats and CMB.TECH introduced the world’s first hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel (CTV) earlier this year. The vessel is operating with Vestas in the port of Ostend in Belgium. The Hydrocat 48 is an 82-foot CTV with a 10-ton capacity. The vessel uses a MAN dual-fuel engine that was retrofitted by CBM.TECH and has tanks with a capacity of a total of 210 kg of hydrogen in addition to diesel. The vessel has an operating speed of 30 knots. Windcat reports that the vessel can reduce up to 80 percent traditional fuel consumption and associated emissions. The Hydrocat 48 saves 1.9 tons of carbon dioxide per day.
After the successful testing and introduction of the first hydrogen CTV, the company along with partners FRS Offshore Logistics in Germany and Thomas Services Maritime in France announce the additional order of six hydrogen-powered vessels.
“The investment that we are making gives our customers access to more hydrogen-powered vessels in a short time, which will support them to achieve their own climate targets. We are actively engaging with hydrogen producers, clients, port authorities, and class societies to ensure hydrogen fuel is readily available for use,” said Willem van der Wel, Managing Director of Windcat Workboats.
The six additional hydrogen-powered vessels include four vessels of the MK3.5H2 series, similar to the current Hydrocat 48. Two of the new vessels will be delivered in 2022 and two in 2023. The next vessel is intended for the German offshore market and will be operated by joint-venture partner FRS Windcat. The other two vessels will be of the new MK5 series, which will be 88.5 feet long with double the hydrogen capacity of the earlier series.
CMB.TECH and Windcat Workboats report that they are working together to further optimize engine capacities to increase the percentage of hydrogen used in their dual fuel design. The long-term plan is to develop the technology and infrastructure to eventually enable a mono-fuel option through the internal combustion engine.
CMB.TECH and Windcat have also already developed solutions for delivering hydrogen to vessels. This includes a 40ft 500bar trailer capable of transporting hydrogen for remote refueling of all different applications currently in use. This enables hydrogen bunkering in various port locations that are a distance from the hydrogen source.