KSOE, Shell and partners to demonstrate fuel cell-powered ship operations

South Korean shipbuilder Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), a unit of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group, is launching a demonstration project to apply fuel cells, which are seen as a next-generation energy source, to large vessels.

Courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI)
Courtesy of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI)

On 11 October, KSOE signed a consortium agreement with energy companies Shell, Doosan Fuel Cell, HyAxiom, and classification society DNV.

Under the agreement, HHI will use a 600KW high-efficiency solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for power generation on a 174,000 cubic-metre LNG carrier to be run by Shell from 2025.

The LNG carrier will use fuel cells as an auxiliary power unit (APU) and perform its demonstration for one year on the actual trade route.

For its part, HHI will build a ship, design and install SOFC placements, and integrate the ship system.

Shell will be in charge of managing and operating the ship, as well as managing the demonstration project, while Doosan Fuel Cell and HyAxiom will develop and supply fuel cells for the ship.

DNV will conduct inspections of the structure and equipment of the demonstration ship for accreditation registration.

Based on this project, HHI plans to develop and supply high-efficiency, eco-friendly ships that can apply fuel cells to propulsion power sources in the long term.

In addition to this agreement, the company is developing its own SOFC technologies to promote fuel cell development projects.

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“The shipbuilding and shipping industries are experiencing rapid innovations environmentally friendly and digitally”, said KSOE’s vice chairman and CEO Samhyun Ka. “We expect to preoccupy next-generation eco-friendly ship technologies and speed up marine decarbonisation through this fuel cell-applied ship demonstration.”

Karrie Trauth, SVP of Shipping & Maritime at Shell said: “This consortium and the cutting-edge technology we’re pioneering could help deliver less carbon-intensive operations in the near term while unlocking a pathway to net-zero through the blending of conventional and alternative fuels until zero-carbon options are available at scale.

“We’re excited to be collaborating with some of the leading names in shipping who share a vision of a zero-emission industry and are working hard to progress shipping decarbonisation.”

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