Ponant Partners With Farwind Energy to Develop Sustainable Fuel

Ponant has announced a collaboration with Nantes-based startup Farwind Energy to develop innovative solutions for ship refueling with renewable hydrogen. 

What does this entail? Ponant and Farwind Energy have defined a road map to develop the production and use of renewable marine hydrogen, where the companies will share progress on the management of hydrogen on board and collaborate on the development of first-use cases and overcoming potential technological obstacles. The two partners have set a goal to commission both Ponant’s Swap2Zero project and Farwind’s first energy ship at the same time by 2030.

Based in Nantes, France, and the Caribbean, Farwind Energy develops solutions to enable renewable energy to be supplied as close as possible to its point of consumption and in a form adapted to the requirements. Its energy ship technology aims to produce electricity at sea from offshore wind and transform it into hydrogen by the electrolysis of seawater. The hydrogen can be transported to shore to be used as a fuel, a solution particularly well suited to island territories, or refueling of a ship can take place at sea, helping accelerate the maritime transport industry’s energy transition.

“Farwind Energy’s hydrogen production technology has the advantage of offering hydrogen refueling solutions in places where there are no means of production and supply. This collaboration is an opportunity to jointly develop a major project that associates a ship with her own source of renewable energy produced locally," said Mathieu Petiteau, Newbuilding and R&D director at Ponant.

Swap2Zero is the first concept of a transoceanic vessel aiming to approach, as far as state-of-the-art technology will allow, carbon neutrality, whether sailing, maneuvering, in port or at anchor. There are several initiatives to move forward with this project. Wind power is at the heart of the project and low-temperature fuel cells operating on liquid hydrogen for propulsion are also being studied. The project aims to be a catalyst for new energy solutions with strong replicability potential for the rest of the industry.

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