Hydrogen fuel cell technology for large ocean ships advances in Europe

Hydrogen fuel cell technology for large ocean ships advances in Europe

ABB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hydrogène de France (HDF) to collaborate on the assembly and production of fuel cell systems for marine applications, more specifically for ocean-going vessels. Fuel cells are widely considered as one of the most promising solutions for reducing harmful pollutants. Already today, this zero-emission technology is capable of powering ships sailing short distances.

Building on an existing collaboration with Ballard Power Systems, ABB and HDF intend to optimize fuel cell manufacturing capabilities to produce a megawatt-scale power plant for marine vessels. The new system will be based on the megawatt-scale fuel cell power plant jointly developed by ABB and Ballard, and will be manufactured at HDF’s new facility in Bordeaux, France.

“With the ever-increasing demand for solutions that enable sustainable, responsible shipping, we are confident that fuel cells will play an important role in helping the marine industry meet CO2 reduction targets,” said JuhaKoskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports. “Signing the MOU with HDF brings us a step closer to making this technology available for powering ocean-going vessels.”

With shipping responsible for about 2.5% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, there is an increased pressure for the maritime industry to transition to more sustainable power sources. The International Maritime Organization has set a global target to cut annual emissions by at least 50% by 2050 from 2008 levels. Among alternative emission-free technologies, ABB is already well advanced in collaborative development of fuel cell systems for ships.


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