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Zaha Hadid Architects and NatPower H to Create First Green Hydrogen Network for Boats

Hydrogen refuelling stations are coming to Mediterranean.

Courtesy of ZHA

In an unprecedented move toward sustainable marine practices, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and NatPower H have announced their collaboration to construct the world’s first green hydrogen refuelling network for the recreational boating sector. This ambitious project, spearheaded by NatPower H—a division of the NatPower group—envisions the establishment of a pioneering infrastructure that underscores a significant shift towards eco-friendly marine energy solutions.

With a generous investment of €100 million, the project aims to commence the installation of green hydrogen refuelling stations in the summer of 2024, targeting an initial rollout across 25 strategic marinas and ports throughout Italy. This initiative paves the way for a broader ambition to set up 100 refuelling stations across the Mediterranean within the next six years, eventually extending the network to encompass the globe’s most frequented recreational boating locales.

Courtesy of ZHA

Leveraging renewable sources such as wind and solar power, NatPower H’s innovative technology facilitates the production of green hydrogen. This clean energy source, known for emitting only water vapor and warm air, promises to revolutionize the recreational boating industry by offering a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. By 2030, the project anticipates the operation of 100 stations, capable of delivering an impressive 3650 tons of green hydrogen annually, thereby potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 45,000 tons each year in the Mediterranean alone.

Central to NatPower H’s approach are the principles of safety, scalability, and sustainability. The refuelling stations will employ RINA PED certified low-pressure metal hydrides technologies, ensuring the safe and efficient supply of hydrogen in compliance with stringent industry standards. This focus extends to the protection of marine ecosystems, highlighting a commitment to circularity and environmental stewardship.

Fabrizio Zago, Group CEO of NatPower, expressed the company’s vision, emphasizing green hydrogen as a key driver in the energy transition for the recreational boating and yachting industry. The project not only aims to cater to the increasing demand for sustainable marine vessels but also addresses the urgent need for supporting infrastructure to facilitate the use of zero-impact energy sources.

Courtesy of ZHA

In collaboration with ZHA, the design of the refuelling stations will embody ecological responsibility and adaptability, catering to the diverse needs of Mediterranean marinas and ports. Utilizing 3D robotic material placement, the stations will be constructed from fully recyclable, dry-assembled masonry, minimizing waste and enhancing material efficiency. The innovative design draws inspiration from natural formations and the historical engineering prowess of the Mediterranean, promising a blend of aesthetic appeal and structural efficiency.

This groundbreaking initiative also includes partnerships with key industry players, such as Bluegame of the Sanlorenzo Group, to develop hydrogen-powered chase boats for the 37th America’s Cup. Through these collaborations, NatPower H aims to demonstrate the practical benefits and viability of green hydrogen in promoting sustainable marine practices.

The green hydrogen refuelling infrastructure represents a significant milestone in the quest for sustainable marine energy solutions, reflecting a shared commitment by NatPower H and ZHA to an ecologically responsible future. This visionary project not only underscores the potential of green hydrogen in transforming the recreational boating industry but also sets a precedent for global efforts towards environmental sustainability in marine practices.

Design Team
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Principal: Patrik Schumacher
Project Director: Filippo Innocenti
Project Associate: Luciano Letteriello
ZHA CODE: Tommaso Casucci, Heba Eiz, Oliver Moldow, Taeyoon Kim, Binru Wang, Jianfei Chu, Vishu Bhooshan, Henry Louth, Shajay Bhooshan
ZHA Videography: Henry Virgin

Consultants Team
Strategic Positioning: Baglietto
American’s Cup Partnership: BlueGame Hydrogen Technology
Consultant: BluEnergy Revolution
Project Management & Engineering Advisor: Fichtner
Media & PR: Havas
Hydrogen and Technology Partner: Linde
Legal Consultant Partner: Studio Maresca
Safety Advisor: Sige
Communication & Images: Tecma Solutions

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