In doing so, the hydrogen fuel cell will provide zero-emission power for the vessel presenting further case for the clean energy carrier to enter the maritime industry.

Dubbed HyDrOMer, the hydrogen hybrid sweeper will be the only one of its kind according to the companies and will be used to maintain the depths of three regional ports in Occitanie, France.

It is hoped that the €25m ($27m) vessel will be in operation by the end of 2023.

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To support the project, the FC-Rack fuel cell will be integrated into the project with a capacity of 200kW as a hydrogen generator.

The generator system is integrated in a 15-foot container and is expected to be situated on the deck of the ship next to the gas storage that will enable the fuel cell to be operated.

Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region, said, “Committed to environmental excellence, energy efficiency and the production of renewable energy, the Occitanie Region is investing in the construction of this innovative sweeper, which is unique in the world.

“I am convinced that green hydrogen is a real asset for accelerating the decarbonisation of maritime and port activities.

“I wanted hydrogen to be produced via the electrolysis of water by renewable electricity and, in the long term, by the wind turbines that will be installed off the coast of Port-La Nouvelle, therefore with sustainable electricity.

They also have economic virtues: the additional costs of hydrogen today will represent an important factor of competitiveness for companies tomorrow.”

Frédéric Léon, Managing Director of Chantiers Piriou, said, “The Piriou Group is proud to deserve the confidence of the Occitanie Region for the construction of this innovative and complex vessel with the integration of a fuel cell system, batteries and hydrogen storage containers on board the sweeper.

“Beyond the environmental benefits, this is a challenge that we have taken up as a key player in the French marine hydrogen industry.”

North American Hydrogen Summit

H2 View is taking its events platform to America’s original clean hydrogen hub of California. Together with the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), we will stage our North American Hydrogen Summit in San Francisco on July 14-15.

As our summit theme Building Bridges: Hydrogen hubs and investment suggests, the event will explore the $8bn of funding announced to create at least four regional hydrogen hubs in the US. These hubs will turbo-charge the nation’s progress toward heavy trucking and industrial sectors that run without producing carbon pollution – and they may just provide the path forward to a hydrogen-fuelled future.

With California and Texas vying to be America’s hydrogen capital today, where are the hubs of tomorrow? Further still, what can other states, and countries, learn from California’s success story? And how can we build bridges to a successful flow of international investment?

Our early bird offer tickets are $1,000, for a limited time only. If you are a member of the CaFCP, be sure to grab your ticket at a discounted rate with a code that can be provided to you by the events team.

Full information about this event including attendance and sponsorship packages can be found here.