Royal Dutch Shell to test hydrogen fuel cells for shipsApril 26, 2021
The oil giant recently announced that it was conducting a marine H2 feasibility study in Singapore.
Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it is working with partners to conduct a feasibility study on hydrogen fuel cells for ships. The purpose is to test the technology and renewable energy on marine craft in Singapore.
This represents the first step of its nature for the oil giant that has been investing more heavily in H2.
If the hydrogen fuel cells for ship prove feasible, the test will provide an important move ahead in H2-powered, emission free shipping, said the company. Shell also stated that this analysis underscores that H2 and fuel cells are the greenhouse emission-free technology with the highest potential for transitioning the shipping sector into a net zero emissions goal of 2050.
This test will involve developing and installing an auxiliary power unit H2 fuel cell as a retrofit for an existing roll-on/roll-off vessel (a cargo ship cars and trucks can drive onto) for goods transportation. It will also install the renewable energy tech onto related vehicles and equipment and on trucks traveling between Singapore and the oil company’s Pulau Bukom manufacturing site located on an island close to the mainland.
Shell will be chartering the vessel testing the fuel cells for ships and will provide the H2.
The oil giant will team up with SembCorp Marine Ltd as well as its LGM Marin unit. That firm will design the fuel cell itself and will be responsible for the vessel’s retrofit. The vessel itself is owned by Penguin International Ltd.
The research team will begin by conducting a feasibility study for the purpose of installing the tech and equipment at some point in 2022. From that point, said Shell, the vessel will begin a 12-month test period for the H2 technology.
“We see fuel cells and hydrogen as a promising pathway for decarbonising shipping and working with partners in this way will develop our understanding of this critical technology,” said Shell shipping and maritime, Asia Pacific & Middle East general manager Nick Potter.
To reach the UN shipping industry goals, industry leaders have stated that net-zero-emissions marine vessels will need to have already started entering the global fleet by 2030. Hydrogen fuel cells for ships are seen as a key strategy for meeting that target.