Project HOST (Hydrogen and Oxygen South Thames)



The basis for the study is to assess the viability for Thames Clippers to transition over the next 10 years to vessels that use hydrogen fuel cell, batteries and electric motors for propulsion instead of diesel engines, a technology that is proven but not yet deployed anywhere in the world at significant scale. Project HOST will deliver a high-profile public demonstration of the supply of hydrogen, with vessels built in the UK and operating in London, together with a low carbon hydrogen production hub fuelling multiple modes of transport.

This will accelerate the deployment of other vessels and modes of transport switching to hydrogen, knowing a safe, reliable hydrogen supply is available and practical. The project will consider the construction of a low carbon oxygen and hydrogen hub on the south bank of the Thames which combines the off-take requirements for the Thames Clippers and other demand in the area and provides a leading innovative decarbonisation solution for the Thames. Delivering hydrogen projects requires innovation at many levels: new technology, supply chains, skills and innovative partnerships. Project HOST contains all these elements and once delivered will provide a model for other hydrogen maritime projects to follow, accelerating the greening and cleaning of maritime in the UK.

The study will start the process of decarbonising the Thames and create a provision for refuelling the UK's first hydrogen fleet of British built high speed passenger river buses. The project includes the manufacturing and maritime industry, electricity and water treatment providers to ensure that the end to-end supply chain requirements are delivered and benefits equitably share.

Project HOST contains three members (Arup, Shell and National Grid) who are already collaborating on another hydrogen production project in the Thames area and have successfully completed a feasibility study, providing confidence in the teams delivery capability and wider intent. With the inclusion of Thames Clippers, the requirements of the vessel operator will be fully understood and designed-in to the refuelling solution. We also have within the team, in Wight Ship Yard, the UK's foremost high speed river bus builder and manufacturer of the existing fleet. This study will enable them to rapidly move into manufacturing the first generation of hydrogen powered vessels.

The proposed location for Project HOST is the National Grid and Thames Water owned land adjacent to the old Littlebrook power station, close to an existing pier and M25 Dartford junction.

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