Shell is to trial hydrogen fuel cells on ships in Singapore through a project with Sembcorp Marine and Penguin International.

The three companies inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday on a project to retrofit a hydrogen fuel cell onto a Penguin  ro-ro vessel.

Shell will charter the trial vessel and provide hydrogen fuel while Sembcorp Marine subsidiary LMG Marin will design and retrofit the Penguin vessel.

“This trial is an important step in demonstrating the applicability of hydrogen and fuel cells on ships,” said Nick Potter, General Manager of Shell Shipping and Maritime, Asia Pacific & Middle East. “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.”

The trial will develop and install an auxiliary power unit Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell on a ro-ro vessels that transports goods and vehicles between mainland Singapore and Shell’s facilities on Pulau Bukom.

“Hydrogen is generally regarded as a new frontier in alternative fuels for shipping,” said James Tham, Managing Director of Penguin. “This trial is significant for Singapore and for the maritime community at large. The outcome of this trial, which is based on retrofitting a ro-ro which we operate for Shell, could quickly bring many ship owners to the forefront of this alternative fuel. As a Singaporean shipbuilder, owner and operator, we believe in playing an active part in decarbonisation.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime