Danish shipping company MHO-Co is leading a consortium that has been awarded €4.5M (US$5.3M) for a three-year project to develop green solutions for offshore vessels
MHO-Co, a well-known owner and operator of crew transfer vessels (CTVs), will test fuel cells and new battery technology on its vessels. It will work alongside Aalborg University using grants from the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP).
MHO-CO director Mik Henriksen said the aim is to develop environmentally friendly technology to replace fossil fuels. “With the EUDP grant and knowledge and innovation from other participants in the project, we will set new standards for what is possible in the maritime industry,” he claimed.
The consortium working on the project also includes Danfoss, Ballard Power Systems Europe, Sterling PlanB and Stuart Friezer Marine, along with researchers at Aalborg University.
Over the next three years, the project partners will develop and test a propulsion system that does not emit carbon dioxide. During this period, MHO-Co will test fuel cells and new types of batteries.
Ballard Power Systems Europe will develop the fuel cells. Its director Kristina Fløche Juelsgaard said, “Based on our experience with fuel cells for heavy transport, we are now focusing on how fuel cells and hydrogen can also become the green solution of the future in the maritime sector.
“This project is ground-breaking because together we can test different options and find a sustainable solution.”
Another pillar of the project is the use of energy storage systems based on batteries. Sterling PlanB chief executive Brent Perry said, “Sterling PlanB has long prided itself on engineering safe, robust energy storage systems.
“Our battery technology is engineered to be the most robust lithium battery possible, for a cost-effective, sustainable solution. We’re very proud to be a part of this project and partnering with like-minded experts in the industry to address shipping’s decarbonisation challenges.”
MHO-Co said its new hybrid vessels will act as test platforms for the technology developed in the project. “They are designed to be adapted to environmentally friendly energy systems simply by replacing engine and propulsion packages,” said the company.
The new vessels are being built in China and are due to enter operation in Europe in mid-2021.
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