ABB will deliver a comprehensive power distribution system for two newbuild short-sea container ships of the global logistics company Samskip Group headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The vessels will be among the world’s first of their kind to use hydrogen as a fuel. Financial details were not disclosed. The order was booked in the second quarter of 2023.
Built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd, the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India, the 135-meter ships are due for delivery in Q3 and Q4 of 2025, respectively. Both vessels will be operating between Oslo Fjord and Rotterdam, a distance of approximately 700 nautical miles.
In addition to the integration of hydrogen fuel cells, ABB’s comprehensive package includes the new, compact version of ABB Onboard DC Grid™ power distribution system that will ensure the optimal use of energy on board. The vessels will also feature ABB’s energy storage solution control, with the industry-leading automation technology, ABB Ability™ System 800xA, ensuring seamless operation of onboard equipment. Leveraging ABB Ability™ Remote Diagnostic Systems, the vessels will benefit from optimized safety and performance through 24/7 remote support.
Fuel cells turn the chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity through an electrochemical reaction. With the use of renewables to produce the hydrogen, the entire energy chain will be clean. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is considered as one of the most promising solutions to support shipping industry’s decarbonization agenda, with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.
Samskip’s vessels will be powered by a 3.2 MW hydrogen fuel cell each, with diesel generators installed for back-up. The logistics group, which aims to achieve net-zero by 2040, anticipates that each vessel will be able to avoid around 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year when powered by fuel cells and by using green shore power at the port of call. While the ships are setting new standards for environmentally friendly operations, they are expected to perform at the same level as Samskip’s conventional vessels.
The project is in line with the International Maritime Organization’s revised greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy, which calls on reaching net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping close to 2050, with a commitment to increase the uptake of low-carbon fuels by 2030.
“ABB is delighted to collaborate with Samskip and Cochin Shipyard Limited on this project which will help to avoid emissions and reduce operational expenses,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “ABB is at the forefront of shipping’s most ambitious plans for decarbonization and setting new standards for green maritime transportation.”
“Samskip’s level of ambition on emissions requires partners like ABB, with similar objectives for innovation and the willingness to invest in the future,” said Erik Hofmeester, Head of Fleet Management, Samskip Group. “These ships are a milestone for the maritime industry, delivering hydrogen fuel cells as a clean and renewable technology.”
“Cochin Shipyard is proud to partner with ABB in strengthening our position as an early mover in sustainable technology and supporting India’s vision to become a Global Hub for building Green Ships,” said Madhu S Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard Limited.
The project is co-funded by Norwegian state enterprise ENOVA. Operating under Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, ENOVA promotes a shift towards more environmentally friendly energy consumption and production, as well as the development of energy and climate technology.
ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on more than 130 years of excellence, ABB’s 105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.