Nine companies in the Basque Country are working on a New Generation of Sustainable Ships.

The H2OCEAN Project (Hazitek Program, Project no. ZE-2021/00037) has as its main objective the research into less mature technologies that allow the industries of the Basque Country to position themselves as a place of reference at a national and international level in relation to the sustainable ship of the future based fundamentally on hydrogen technology.

To this aim, nine companies in the Basque Country are working on a New Generation of Sustainable Ships developing Research applied to green propulsion, digitization and optimization of manufacturing in maritime transport.

During the second year, progress has been made in achieving the technical objectives of the project that are mentioned below:

  • Progress has been made in the integration of developments in the case of use of a sustainable and digital river vessel, defining the geometry of the vessel, layout of the components of the propulsion system. The different routes that the ship will make through the final part of the Bilbao estuary, and the associated energy consumption, have also been defined.
  • The NH3 storage and handling system has been defined, completing its commissioning for testing and validation.
  • In hydrogen combustion engines, the effect of hydrogen on components and materials of internal combustion engines is being studied, as well as its resistance to degradation.
  • Compatibility and stability studies of synthetic fuel for motors have been defined, and diesel engine tests have been carried out for its characterization prior to the introduction of H2 into the engine cylinders.
  • Regarding the generation of H2, the characterization of the membranes for the generation of H2 onboard from ammonia has been carried out; and a pilot plant for the generation of H2 from bio-alcohols and ammonia has been designed. Membranes for anionic electrolysers have also been characterized and tested.
  • PV modules have been installed in the HarshLab floating laboratory installed in BiMEP (Armintza) to analyze the behavior of different configurations of materials that best adapt to the marine environment. The selected modules will be integrated into the design of the river vessel.
  • Space design activities are being carried out for fitting out the vessel designed within the framework of the project whose objective is to navigate the final part of the Bilbao estuary.