China’s first hydrogen-powered ship sets sail
Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1, China’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered vessel, embarked on its maiden voyage on Wednesday morning from the Three Gorges Tourist Center in Yichang, Hubei Province.
Marking a breakthrough in the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in inland waterway vessels in China, the trip holds a demonstrative significance for advancing the “hydrogenation of the Yangtze” initiative and accelerating green and low-carbon development in inland waterway transportation.
Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1 was jointly developed by the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), Three Gorges Navigation Authority, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) 712th Research Institute, and the China Classification Society.
It boasts a top speed of 28 kilometers per hour and a cruising range of up to 200 kilometers, primarily intended for transportation, inspection, emergency response, and other tasks within the Three Gorges Reservoir area and between the two dams.
The vessel has a total length of 49.9 meters, a beam of 10.4 meters, and a draft of 3.2 meters. It can accommodate up to 80 passengers and is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system with a rated output power of 500 kilowatts.
Compared to traditional fossil fuel-powered ships, it is estimated to replace 103.16 tons of fuel annually and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 343.67 metric tons.
Wang Zhen, a research director at CSSC 712th Research Institute, stated that the construction and operation of Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1 mark a milestone achievement.
He added that the project represents a significant leap from 0 to 1 in the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in shipbuilding and provides a precedent for the large-scale commercial use of hydrogen fuel cell-powered ships in China.
CTG implemented the strategy focusing on clean energy and the ecological protection of the Yangtze River in response to the Chinese government, which regards the hydrogen energy industry as a strategic emerging industry and key direction for future development.
The Green Electricity and Green Hydrogen Demonstration Station of the Three Gorges was officially put into operation on the same day,supplying energy to the boat.
As China’s first inland dock-type hydrogen production and refueling station, it can supply 240 kilograms of hydrogen per hour.
According to Guan Sumin, deputy director of a research center at CTG, the hydrogen production and refuelingsystem enables the demonstration station to achieve self-sufficiency and enhance hydrogen supply efficiency.