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Construction of Hydrogen-Powered Ship "Neo Orbis" Begins, Set to Enter Service in 2024
By Sea and Coast | 24/01/2023
The construction of Neo Orbis, a pilot ship for the H2Ships project, has officially begun with a keel laying ceremony held at Next Generation Shipyards, a Dutch shipbuilding company. 
 
The H2Ships project, which is part of the Interreg North-West Europe initiative, aims to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for ships, and identify the conditions for successful market entry for this technology. 
 
The Neo Orbis will be the first ship in the world to sail using hydrogen in solid form as an energy carrier, in this case sodium borohydride, making it completely emission-free. Next Generation Shipyards was contracted to build the ship last summer, and the construction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
 
Once completed, the Neo Orbis will serve as the flagship vessel for the Port of Amsterdam, with trial sailings set to begin in June 2023. The design for the ship has been provided by Dutch engineering consultant Wijk Yacht Creations, while the hydrogen installation has been designed by H2 CIF. 
 
The name Neo Orbis, meaning New World, represents the ship's purpose as a scale-up model for various types of vessels including inland shipping, shortsea, dredging, offshore and possibly even patrol and naval vessels. The Port of Amsterdam has stated that initial studies into these possibilities are already being conducted.
 
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