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Energy Observer, first energy-autonomous hydrogen vessel, is making a stop in Antwerp

  • Europe
  • Partnership

Energy Observer, which has partnered with Air Liquide since 2017, set off again from Saint Malo in mid-March for a tour of northern Europe and will be stopping over in Antwerp, one of the largest commercial ports in Europe, from March 21 to 29.

First fuel cell electric hydrogen vessel aiming for energy-autonomy and emitting no greenhouse gases or particulates, this former legendary racing boat has been reconfigured under the watchful eyes of its captain, Victorien Erussard, and the explorer Jérôme Delafosse. It is powered by a mix of renewable energy sources and an onboard system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater.

Its schedule will be packed during the one-week stopover in Antwerp and will include a meeting with members of Mission Innovation, an initiative backed by the European Commission, and visits from school groups. This first stopover will also allow Energy Observer to recharge its batteries using solar and wind power. Once these batteries are fully charged, the value of any surplus energy will be enhanced through the electrolysis of seawater.

Energy Observer will then set a course to the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, and the White Sea before completing this tour of northern Europe with stops in Scotland and London in October. The goal of this round-the-world trip is to showcase innovations that bring us one step closer to the energy transition and to raise awareness among citizens, decision-makers, and companies through the vessel's pop-up village and on social media.

Air Liquide has been committed for over 20 years to the development of hydrogen as an energy source, particularly for the mobility market, and is supporting this scientific and technological project that highlights hydrogen's key role in the energy transition. Air Liquide's support for this project is a further example of the Group's desire to create a more sustainable world.