ABB, HDF To Power Ocean-going Vessels With Fuel Cell Systems

- Apr 09, 2020-

Technology firm ABB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hydrogène de France to jointly manufacture megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going vessels.

The MOU envisages close collaboration on the assembly and production of the fuel cell power plant for marine applications.

ABB has already teamed up with Ballard Power Systems on the development of the megawatt-scale fuel cell power plant, which will serve as the basis for the new system planned to be manufactured at HDF’s new facility in Bordeaux, France.

Fuel cells turn the chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity through an electrochemical reaction. With the use of renewables to produce the hydrogen, the entire energy chain can be clean.

The zero-emission technology is capable of powering ships sailing short distances, as well as supporting auxiliary energy requirements of larger vessels.

“HDF is very excited to cooperate with ABB to assemble and produce megawatt-scale fuel cell systems for the marine market based on Ballard technology,” said Damien Havard, CEO of HDF.

“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 Juha Koskela, 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.”

The pursuit is in line with the ever-growing pressure for the marine industry to decarbonize its operations. The IMO has set a global target to cut annual emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 from 2008 levels.