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China’s first hydrogen-powered ship makes maiden voyage

The "Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1" is cruising on the Yangtze River.

The "Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1", China's first hydrogen-powered ship, made its maiden voyage in Yichang City in central China's Hubei Province on Wednesday morning, marking a breakthrough in the country's application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in inland waterway vessels.

The vessel has a steel-aluminum composite structure with a total length of 49.9 meters, a beam of 10.4 meters, and a draft of 3.2 meters. Powered by a 500 kW hydrogen fuel cell, the ship has a maximum cruise range of 200 kilometers.

After delivery, it is used for transportation, patrol and emergency response in the Three Gorges reservoir area and between the Three Gorges-Gezhouba dams.

The ship is jointly developed by companies like China State Shipbuilding Corporation, China Yangtze Power Corporation and Jianglong Shipbuilding, and institutions like Wuhan Changjiang Ship Design Institute and the Three Gorges Navigation Authority. It's also the first hydrogen-powered boat certified by the China Classification Society.

In recent years, the application of new energy power propulsion technology has become a key focus for developing green ships. Hydrogen energy is pollution-free, renewable and highly efficient, and hydrogen fuel cells can boost energy efficiency, achieve zero emissions and improve cruise comfort, making them ideal power propulsion devices for green ships.

Compared with traditional fuel-powered ships, the hydrogen-powered vessel is expected to replace 103.16 tons of fuel oil and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 343.67 tons each year.

The vessel can have energy supplied at the green electricity and green hydrogen demonstration station of the Three Gorges located at the Yangjia Bay in the lower reaches of the gorges.

As China's first inland dock-type hydrogen production and refueling station, it uses the clean electric energy generated by the Three Gorges power station to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen, which will be directly supplied to hydrogen-powered ships after compression, storage and filling. The station can supply 240 kilograms of hydrogen per hour.

Meanwhile, the 2023 China (Yichang) Green Energy Development Conference was held from October 10 to 12 in Yichang, which is home to the country's mega Three Gorges hydro-power project, rich in green energy resources and enjoys great development potential and strong growth momentum in the field, according to Yichang Three Gorges International Communication Studio.

In a bid to further promote clean energy cooperation and build a shared exchange platform among governments, enterprises and experts, the conference is expected to boost the development of wind energy, solar energy, hydropower, energy storage and hydrogen power, as well as the integrated development of the supply, transmission, consumption and storage of energy.

The conference will provide strong support for promoting the green energy industry's high-quality development in Hubei and other provincial-level regions along the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the rest of the country, contributing to the building of an ecologically beautiful China.

Source: Yichang Three Gorges International Communication Studio