Redland Green School

RGS Bristol

Evening Post Article: Ferry good - Adam names city's new boat

Saturday, 03 March 2012 (go to original article on thisisbristol website)

A PIONEERING hydrogen-powered ferry has been named – with a little help from a local schoolboy.

Adam Sidnell of Redland Green School came up with the name "Hydrogenesis" after taking part in a competition.

Bristol City Council asked local 160 schools to suggest names for the £225,000 passenger ferry.

Adam, who is in year 11, said: "I chose this because it was 'hydro' and 'genesis'.

"Genesis means the first so seeing this is the first hydrogen powered ferry it seemed relevant."

And Adam is right, the project is the first of its kind in the country.

The ferry will carry up to 12 passengers per journey.

It is being built by Bristol Hydrogen Boats – a consortium formed between No 7 Boat Trips, the Bristol Packet, and Auriga Energy.

A company called Air Products will provide the hydrogen fuel and the refuelling infrastructure for the demonstration project.

Hydrogenesis is due to hit the water for testing in April, and then be available to the public this summer.

It will run for six hours a day, most likely from noon, and be moored near the ss Great Britain.

Although it will be the first of its kind there was criticism of the project when it was announced last year. Opposition councillors argued it was a waste of money in tough economic times and should not be a priority when the authority is making £70 million of cuts.

But council leader Barbara Janke believes the project is worth it, and hopes it will be the first step in creating a "hydrogen economy" for the city.

She said: "This innovative project is putting Bristol at the forefront of the development of this new environmental technology, and will help spearhead growth in the sector bringing jobs and investment to the city. It will also introduce new clean and green transport to the city and will demonstrate the commercial advantages of this technology to business, residents, commuters and tourists."

Managing director of Auriga Engery Jas Singh said: "This project is bringing innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to Bristol and one of the key aims is to inform the public and enthuse the engineers of tomorrow.

"The naming of the boat by a pupil in a local school, chosen from an impressive list, is the first step in achieving the objective."

Although the boat has yet to be completed, it was dedicated at the naming ceremony by Reverend Philip Auden.

The event was also attended by the runner-up in the naming contest, Faith Webber, a year six pupil from St Peters Church of England Primary School. Second runner-up was Sarah Wilkinson, of Henbury School, year 11.