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“Hydrocat 55” – Germany’s first CTV with hydrogen propulsion

Caption: The "Hydrocat 55" offers space for 24 people

With the “Hydrocat 55”, FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics has deployed the first crew transfer vessel (CTV) with a hydrogen drive in Germany.

According to FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics, “Hydrocat 55” will be deployed by 50Hertz. Following the delivery of the vessel in spring 2023, this marks the start of joint operations in various wind farms in the German Baltic Sea, according to the companies.

The “Hydrocat 55” is a Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) equipped with the hydrogen system from CMB.Tech, one of the shareholders of FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics (FWOL).

The vessel represents an innovation for the offshore wind industry and is an important step in the decarbonization of operations for the Flensburg-based company FRS Windcat Offshore Logistics (FWOL), it says. It is part of a fleet of six vessels that FWOL currently operates in the German and Danish North Sea and Baltic Sea – all under the German flag.

“Hydrocat 55” has MAN engines on board

The dual-fuel system enables a significant reduction in CO2 emissions during operation, and a considerable proportion of NOx emissions of up to 70% can also be saved.

With a length of 25 m, the “Hydrocat 55” offers space for 24 people and two to three crew members and has a tank capacity for up to 207 kg of hydrogen in 27 cylinders. The engines were produced by MAN for dual-fuel operation and retrofitted with a hydrogen injection system by CMB.Tech. By using hydrogen, the “Hydrocat 55” can significantly reduce the consumption of diesel and thus achieve CO2 savings.

Further ships are under construction

The “Hydrocat 55” is a sister ship to Windcat’s “Hydrocat 48”, which was delivered in 2022 as the first hydrogen-powered CTV for operation in Belgium.

Together with the Dutch joint venture partner Windcat Workboats, five more CTVs of this type are currently under construction. Work is also continuing on optimizing the ship’s technology to enable even greater decarbonization in the future. The test phase will begin in January 2024 and run for a year with regular use of green hydrogen.

The use of this innovative CTV reportedly strengthens the more than ten-year partnership between FWOL and 50Hertz. 50Hertz is the transmission system operator responsible for connecting the wind farms in the German Baltic Sea to the grid. Two more vessels from the fleet are currently in operation for the Berlin-based company.

Die »Hydrocat 55« bietet Platz für 24 Personen
The “Hydrocat 55” offers space for 24 people

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