A feasibility study for the conducting trials for the use of hydrogen fuel cells for ships in Singapore is currently being conducted by the energy company Royal Dutch Shell along with its partners, the company said on Monday. This is the first such effort being undertaken by the oil major.
The company said that a successful trial of the new technology for shipping will create a way for the shipping industry using a cleaner hydrogen powered fuel. The company added that its analysis has shown that hydrogen with fuel cells which is a new zero emissions technology possesses the greatest potential for helping out the shipping industry to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
According to the plans of the trial, the company and its partners will develop and install an auxiliary power unit fuel cell on an existing roll-on/roll-off vessel that is used for transportation of goods, vehicles and equipment on lorries between Singapore and Shell’s Pulau Bukom manufacturing site which is located on an island near the mainland.
A roll-on/roll-off vessel is a cargo ship that carries wheeled cargo such as cars and one that allows such cargo to first driven on and get loaded and then drive off the ship on their own wheels at the destination.
The vessel will be chartered by Shell and the company will also provide the hydrogen fuel for the trial. The work of designing of the fuel cell and retrofitting it on the ship will be done SembCorp Marine Ltd and its unit LMG Marin, which is the partner company of Shell in this effort, the oil major said. The test vessel is owned by Penguin International Ltd.
Shell said that the joint effort of the companies will include conducting a feasibility study of the project first and the companies plan to complete it and then install the fuel cell in the vessel sometime next year. Then the vessel will operate with the new fuel cells for a period of 12 months, the oil major said.
“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 Nick Potter, general manager of Shell shipping and maritime, Asia Pacific & Middle East.
The first vessels that have net zero emissions should be made a part of the global shipping industry by 2023, say leaders and experts of the shipping industry, if it is to meet the goals for the shipping industry as set by the United Nations.
Ships powered by hydrogen could help meet the target.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)