The fuel-cell technology ship powered with hydrogen gas, will carry up to 100 passengers and is due to begin operations in the summer of 2008 on Lake Alster in the center of Hamburg, Germany.

The 'green' ferry is part of the €5.2m Zemship project which involves 9 German and Czech partners and is led by Hamburg's State Ministry for Urban Development and Environment.

Commenting on the project, Hamburg's Senator for the Environment, Michael Freytag said, $quot;Hamburg aims to be the forerunner for hydrogen and fuel-cell technology. This is equally true for research and applications. Our Zemship for Alster will set a worldwide benchmark.$quot;

The Hamburg hydrogen ferry will serve as a prototype for further hydrogen powered deep sea vessels, though unlike the Alster lake vessels, hydrogen refuelling for deep sea vessels will be a major challenge to overcome.

The Alster lake ferry will obtain hydrogen refuelling within the lake area, deep sea vessels will always have to stay close to a hydrogen refuelling point.