Lithuania’s First Hydrogen-Electric Ship Construction Begins

by Admin
Lithuania First Hydrogen Ship

A new chapter in the history of the Lithuanian shipping industry was penned recently. The construction of the first hydrogen-electric ship in the state’s records officially commenced at Western Baltija Shipbuilding (WBS), commissioned by the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority. Designed for waste management, this vessel will serve as a symbol of Lithuania’s progress and its commitment to reducing environmental impact. Simultaneously, this project attests to the capacity to bring together professionals with a high level of competency for the realization of innovative endeavors.

“I am pleased that this modern vessel, meeting the highest environmental protection standards, is being constructed in Klaipėda. This is of utmost relevance and significance not only for Lithuania but also on a global scale. In Lithuania, we possess all the prerequisites for implementing cutting-edge maritime transport and infrastructure development projects. I anticipate that this will provide a robust impetus for our shipping industry, leading to the production of more such vessels in our port city. It is also a splendid exemplification of how our companies can foster innovation and set a precedent for the entire market,” remarked Marius Skuodis, the Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications.

As per current regulations, all ships arriving at or departing from the Port of Klaipėda are mandated to dispose of all ship-generated waste at a port reception facility. The Port Authority has been tasked with furnishing a waste collection service. To augment the quality of its waste collection service from ships, the company has opted to utilize modern and eco-friendly equipment.

“The Port Authority has embarked on highly ambitious projects in recent years. In a few years’ time, the company will emerge as the first one in Lithuania not only to produce green hydrogen but also to possess a hydrogen-powered ship. Furthermore, it will cleanse other ships entering the port by gathering waste from them without leaving an environmental footprint. We take pride in the fact that a new, contemporary, and eco-friendly tanker is under construction not somewhere abroad, but here in Lithuania, at the Port of Klaipėda,” affirmed Algis Latakas, Director General of the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.

Today’s symbolic keel-laying ceremony constitutes an integral phase in the shipbuilding process. It signifies the official initiation of construction works for a modern tanker dedicated to waste collection. Traditionally, this milestone is commemorated by affixing a special plate, embellished with three coins, amid the structures of the ship’s first block, which has already been assembled. The plate bears the names of the involved parties: the ship commissioning authority – the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, the shipbuilders – the Estonian company, Baltic Workboats, and Western Baltija Shipbuilding.

“The realization of this historically significant project, yielding substantial added value, represents a dual triumph for us. Primarily, we are constructing an advanced ship for our homeland, Lithuania, which is both an honor and a profound commitment and responsibility. Additionally, we are executing the project in collaboration with our Estonian counterparts, thereby showcasing a robust business partnership between the two nations. I am confident that by amalgamating our competencies, we will attain the optimal outcome, benefiting Lithuania for years to come,” affirmed Arnoldas Šileika, CEO of the Western Shipyard (WSY) Group of Companies, owners of the subsidiary Western Baltija Shipbuilding.

The hull, superstructure, and wheelhouse will be fabricated at Western Baltija Shipbuilding at the Port of Klaipėda, alongside the installation of cargo systems and other necessary works. The Estonian company, Baltic Workboats, is tasked with installing the main and auxiliary machinery, and coordinating and testing all the ship systems. Additionally, a hydrogen fuel cell system will be installed in Estonia.

“This project marks a significant milestone for Baltic Workboats, and we are immensely gratified to deliver such a modern ship to our Baltic neighbors in Klaipeda. It will be the first tanker-type vessel ever built with Baltic Workboats’ involvement, and in addition to the electric propulsion solution, in which Baltic Workboats has extensive expertise, it will be the first vessel to be equipped with a hydrogen power plant in the Baltic Workboats portfolio. We also wish to emphasize the collaboration between us and Western Shipyard Group in constructing the vessel – through the synergy of our companies’ expertise, we are confident that the vessel will be a modern and eco-friendly addition to the fleet of the Port of Klaipėda,” stated Jüri Taal, Management Board Member of Baltic Workboats.

The primary challenge for the shipbuilders lies in designing and constructing a vessel for the collection of oily bilge water, sewage, sludge, and other waste. It will be equipped with waste collection tanks and an oily bilge water treatment plant, which will treat the waste waters and transfer everything, along with the sewage, to the city’s onshore wastewater treatment plant. The ship is envisioned to operate on a 24-hour basis.

Klaipeda Port Hydrogen vessel

The tanker, measuring 42 meters in length and 10 meters in width, will have the capacity to collect 400 cubic meters of liquid waste. It will be outfitted with two electric motors powered by batteries with a capacity of 2000 kWh and an installed onboard hydrogen fuel cell system. Depending on the intensity of operations, the ship will be capable of operating within the Port of Klaipėda for up to 36 hours on a single charge.

This shipbuilding project, with a total value of €12 million, has been commissioned by the Port Authority and is being constructed by Baltic Workboats, under a joint operating agreement with Western Baltija Shipbuilding. The vessel is expected to set sail in the waters of the Port of Klaipėda by the end of next year.

Source Klaipeda Port