ABB and Hydrogen of France jointly manufacture megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going ships


ABB has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hydrogen of France to jointly manufacture megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going ships (OGV). The memorandum of understanding between ABB and the specialist in hydrogen technologies Hydrogen of France (HDF) provides for close collaboration 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 world’s leading supplier of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell solutions, ABB and HDF intend to optimize capacity manufacturing fuel cells to produce a megawatt-scale power plant for marine ships. The new system will be based on the megawatt fuel cell power plant developed jointly by ABB and Ballard and will be manufactured at HDF’s new facilities in Bordeaux, France.

With the use of renewable energy to produce hydrogen, the entire energy chain can be clean.

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

—Damien Havard, CEO of HDF

With the ever increasing demand for solutions that allow sustainable and responsible navigation, we are convinced that fuel cells will play an important role in helping the maritime industry to achieve CO emissions.2 reduction targets. The signing of the memorandum of understanding with HDF brings us closer to the provision of this technology to power ocean vessels.

—Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports

With shipping accounting for around 2.5% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, the maritime sector is under increased pressure to switch to more sustainable sources of energy. The International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency responsible for regulating shipping, has set a global target to reduce annual emissions by at least 50% by 2050 from 2008 levels.

Among alternative zero-emission technologies, ABB is already well advanced in the collaborative development of fuel cell systems for ships. Fuel cells are widely regarded 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, as well as meeting the auxiliary energy needs of large ships.

ABB’s eco-efficiency portfolio, which enables smart, sustainable cities, industries and transportation systems to mitigate climate change and conserve non-renewable resources, represented 57% of total revenue in 2019. The company is on track to reach 60% of turnover by the end of 2020.


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