ABB will supply propulsion components for two H2 container ships

From the end of 2025, two new container ships will travel across the North Sea between Oslo and Rotterdam. They will be powered by a fuel cell electric propulsion system that relies on components from ABB.

Image: Naval Dynamics

ABB is supplying propulsion solutions for two hydrogen-powered container ships. Specifically, two new short-haul container ships from logistics group Samskip, each powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with an output of 3.2 MW – diesel generators are also on board as a backup.

On top of the integration of the fuel cells, ABB will also supply a compact version of the Onboard DC Grid power distribution system, designed to “ensure optimal use of energy on board.” The deal also includes ABB’s digital operating system for energy storage with automation technology and the ABB Ability System 800xA for operating the onboard equipment. According to the statement, the order was booked in the second quarter, but only now announced.

The two 135-metre vessels will be built by India’s Cochin Shipyard and are scheduled for delivery in the third and fourth quarter of 2025, respectively. They are intended for use between the Oslofjord and Rotterdam, a distance of about 700 nautical miles.

Samskip aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. The logistics company expects to save about 25,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year with each fuel cell ship – if they are fuelled with hydrogen from renewable energies and operated with clean shore power in the port.

“Samskip’s level of ambition on emissions requires partners like ABB, with similar objectives for innovation and the willingness to invest in the future,” says Erik Hofmeester, Head of Fleet Management at Samskip Group. “These ships are a milestone for the maritime industry, delivering hydrogen fuel cells as a clean and renewable technology.”

The Norwegian state-owned company Enova co-financed the project with an undisclosed sum. Enova is under the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and promotes the transition to cleaner energy production, energy-efficient solutions and the development of energy and climate technologies.


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