South Korean shipbuilders are accelerating the development of hydrogen fuel cell ships, which are driven by fuel cell-based electricity instead of internal combustion engines.
A marine fuel cell developed by Samsung Heavy Industries and Bloom Energy is in the process of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) type approval certification. Ships can be equipped with it once they pass the stage.
In June 2020, the two companies began to co-develop the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for use in ships. One year later, they came up with the world’s first SOFC-based LNG carrier. In July last year, classification society DNV gave its approval in principle (AIP), which is a design approval. The ABS new technology qualification (NTQ) was obtained the next month.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering’s SOFC-based very large crude carrier obtained the ABS AIP in January 2021. The Korean Register, STX Energy Solution and the company have conducted joint research since February this year for SOFC technology standardization and commercialization. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is also participating in the South Korean government’s project for developing hydrogen fuel cell-based towing vessels.
Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering is demonstrating ship fuel cells with Shell and Doosan Fuel Cell. In this project, the shipbuilder is in charge of SOFC installation and ship system modification and integration and Doosan Fuel Cell acts as an SOFC system developer, manufacturer and supplier. They are planning to enter the market in 2025.