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ABB signs MOU to manufacture fuel cell systems to power ocean-going vessels

09 Apr 2020

Swiss-Swedish technology firm ABB on Wednesday (8 April) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hydrogène de France (HDF) to jointly manufacture megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going vessels.

Through the MOU, ABB says it plans for a close collaboration with HDF on the assembly and production of the fuel cell power plant for marine applications.

Building on an existing collaboration announced on June 27, 2018 with Ballard Power Systems, the leading global provider of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell solutions, ABB and HDF intend to optimize fuel cell manufacturing capabilities to produce a megawatt-scale power plant for marine vessels, it explains.

ABB adds that 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.

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, it explains.

“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.”

ABB notes that shipping is responsible for about 2.5% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and there is an increased pressure for the maritime industry to transition to more sustainable power sources.

Among alternative emission-free technologies, ABB says it is already well advanced in collaborative development of fuel cell systems for ships – widely considered as one of the most promising solutions for reducing harmful pollutants. 

Related: ABB presents recommendation for zero-emission marine technology to US Congress

Photo credit: ABB
Published: 9 April, 2020

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