Launch of a Belgian-Japanese hydrogen-powered ferry
Antwerp-based Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) and Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi Facilities & Craft (TCF) have combined their know-how and technological expertise to build Japan's first hydrogen-powered passenger ship. The HydroBingo was launched into the water near Fukuyama.
Until now, hydrogen applications have focused on small fleets of pleasure craft or ferries used for short crossings. The consumption requirements were still too great for liners and container ships. But the maritime sector has now clearly identified hydrogen as one of the most interesting long-term solutions. It offers clean, zero carbon emission and almost infinite energy. The HydroBingo, which can carry 80 passengers, has a tonnage of 90 tonnes. Its maximum speed is 26 knots (about 46 km/h) and its cruising speed is between 18 and 22 knots (28 to 35 km/h). It will provide a service between the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
This is not a unique case of Belgian naval experience in Asia, as the Belgian consortium BESIX and Boskalis is planning a gigantic port development project in Vietnam. It will be supported by Antwerp-based company IPEI, which specialises in cooperation with Vietnamese companies. The planned investment amounts to $1 billion for the development of Cat Mep Ha, which will become the largest port in Vietnam.