New fuel cell system to reduce pollution from large freighters

ABB has signed an agreement with Hydrogen de France (HDF) for the joint manufacturing megawatt fuel cell systems to power shipping vessels.

The two partners wish to optimize the production of large systems in order to be able to build megawatt range fuel cells for large merchant ships.

The companies are building on the cooperation between ABB and Ballard Power Systems announced in June 2018. This collaboration resulted, as expected, in the development of such a megawatt fuel cell system and will now be built thanks to the new cooperation between ABB and the specialist in hydrogen Hydrogen from France. Production will take place in a new HDF factory in Bordeaux.

HDF, founded in 2012, develops multi-MW renewable power plants that combine solar or wind power with long-term storage based on hydrogen technology.

HDF is very excited to cooperate with ABB to assemble and produce megawatt fuel cell systems for the marine market based on Ballard technology.

Damien Havard, CEO of HDF.

ABB has revealed that the system will be rated at 3 MW and no larger than a conventional ship engine.

With the growing demand for solutions enabling sustainable and responsible maritime transport, we are convinced that fuel cells will play an important role in helping the maritime industry to achieve its CO2 reduction targets. The signing of the agreement with HDF brings us closer to making this technology available to supply merchant ships.

Juha Koskela, CEO of ABB Marine & Ports.

With its current fuel cells, ABB says it already covers short-haul hydrogen propulsion systems, while larger ships could already meet their auxiliary power needs with fuel cells.

With the new solution, this will now be extended to the propulsion systems of larger ships. An image released by the Swiss-Swedish company ABB shows a container ship with four hydrogen tanks in the hull, several fuel cells and two Azipod electric thrusters.

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