Construction of Golden Gate zero emission vessel begins

Construction of Golden Gate zero emission vessel begins
The Golden Gate zero emission vessel. Image courtesy of GGZEM

Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM) has begun constructing a hydrogen fuel cell boat that aims to demonstrate the advantages of hydrogen fuel cells for the maritime industry.

Water-Go-Round is a 70-foot catamaran first-of-its-kind hydrogen fuel cell boat, being built by Bay Ship & Yacht of Alemeda. Once launched, the vessel will operate for three months in San Francisco Bay, to enable Sandia National Laboratories to independently assess performance and gather data for CARB to determine marine suitability of the technology. Partners will also gather feedback from operators and passengers to determine best commercial use of the vessel.

The vessel has received funding from California Climate Investments. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is administering the project, alongside other partners including Bay Ship & Yacht, BAE Systems, Hydrogenics, Red and White Fleet, Incat Crowther, Hexagon Composites, the Port of San Francisco, and Sandia National Laboratories.

Red and White Fleet intends to use the Water-Go-Round as the first of several vessels with GGZEM integrations in order to meet their commitment to a build a 100 per cent zero emission fleet by 2025.

Dr. Joseph W. Pratt, CEO of GGZEM said: “Today’s ceremony symbolises more than the start of construction of a single vessel, it marks the start of a new movement in the maritime community.  Operators all over the world are seeing that hydrogen fuel cell electric drive-trains can provide both environmental and economic advantages.  Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine and our partners are proud to be selected by California to showcase this aboard the Water-Go-Round.”

“The Air District is excited to be part of the team for the first zero emission, hydrogen fuel-cell powered ferry project in the nation,” added Jack Broadbent, executive officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “By demonstrating cutting-edge, diesel- free technology, we can showcase the benefits of these cleaner solutions which will protect public health and the environment while reducing air pollution and reliance on fossil fuel.”

Tom Escher, President of Red and White Fleet said: “The technology for zero pollution is here today and we are honoured to be the operator of the Water-Go-Round. I’m convinced it will prove the feasibility of hydrogen fuel cell application on all maritime vessels. The Water-Go-Round is a “seed” and when one puts a “seed” in water, it grows. This growth will include large ferries, crew boats, fishing boats, supply vessels, tugboats and large ocean container ships. The Water-Go-Round is the beginning of the shift from hydrocarbon maritime fuels to zero pollution hydrogen fuels. California is going to prove to the global shipping community that hydrogen fuel cells offer zero pollution for the benefit of the entire world.”

The vessel is expected to complete construction by September 2019.