On the 6th march 2012,the UK’s first hydrogen-powered ferry was officially named ‘Hydrogenesis’ following a schools competition. The low carbon boat will carry passengers around Bristol harbour. Work on the boat has ow been completed in the boatyard at Weston-super-Mare. It has been transported to Bristol Marina for internal fit out and electrical work. This will follow a rigorous inspection, assessment and certification process before the boat can gain its licence to navigate and carry passengers from the Harbour Master. It is expected that trials can begin on the water in mid-April.
The Bristol Council leader, Barbara Janke said: “This innovative project is putting Bristol at the forefront of the development of this new environmental technology, and will help spearhead growth in the sector bringing jobs and investment to the city. It will also introduce new clean and green transport to the city and will demonstrate the commercial advantages of this technology to business, residents, commuters and tourists.”
Jas Singh, Managing Director of Auriga Energy Ltd and a spokesperson for the consortium said: “This project is bringing innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to Bristol and one of the key aims is to inform the public and enthuse the engineers of tomorrow. The naming of the boat by a pupil in a local school, chosen from an impressive list, is the first step in achieving the objective.”
The ferry will carry up to 12 passengers per journey. It is being built by Bristol Hydrogen Boats – a consortium formed between No 7 Boat Trips, the Bristol Packet, and Auriga Energy Ltd. Air Products will provide the hydrogen fuel and the refuelling infrastructure to the demonstration project. The council is supporting its development with an investment of £225,000.
As an alternative to petrol and diesel engines, hydrogen powered transport impacts significantly less on the environment as they produce zero direct emissions: the only waste product is water. This would mean a big reduction in air and water pollution, in addition to reduced noise, in the harbour if the technology was widely adopted in the future.