Korean Register (KR), Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Global Services have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on developing and commercialising hydrogen fuel-cell systems for ships
Under the MoU, Hyundai Motors will supply the fuel-cell systems and provide technical support. Hyundai Global Service will manufacture and commercialise the fuel-cell-based propulsion systems and KR will be responsible for establishing the standards for type-approval, which all fuel-cell-propelled vessels of varying sizes must meet to receive approval for commercial use.
Hyundai Motors began developing fuel cell electric vehicle technology over 20 years ago, establishing a dedicated research team in 1998. More recently in 2018, it unveiled the first fuel-cell-powered SUV, Nexo, and announced its long-term roadmap, Fuel Cell Vision 2030, to reaffirm its commitment to accelerate the development of a hydrogen society by leveraging the group’s global leadership in fuel-cell technologies. Hyundai Motor Group has pledged to drastically boost annual fuel-cell system production capacity to 700,000 units by 2030 and explore new business opportunities to supply fuel-cell systems to other transportation manufacturers of vehicles, drones, vessels, rolling stocks and forklifts.
Hyundai Motors vice president Sae-hoon Kim said “This MoU signals Hyundai Motor’s entry into the fuel-cell-powered marine vessel market, made possible through our co-operation with Hyundai Global Service and Korean Register. We hope our decades-long experience and capabilities in hydrogen fuel-cell technologies, combined with the expertise of Hyundai Global Service and Korean Register in the maritime industry, will usher in a new era of greener and cleaner shipping.”
Hyundai Global Sales chief executive Ki-dong Lee said “This collaboration between the three organisations will bring innovative changes to the market, meeting the increasing demand for eco-friendly ships. We will continue to work together to anticipate the needs of the developing hydrogen economy market.”
Added KR chairman and chief executive Hyung-Chul Lee, “Meeting IMO’s carbon emission and greenhouse gas reduction goals over the next 30 years will be extremely challenging for the global shipping industry. But KR as a reliable technical advisor will continue to establish collaborative working relationships with industry stakeholders to develop different fuel technologies, including hydrogen, to support shipowners and operators in meeting IMO’s goals.”
Announcement of the tripartite South Korean collaboration follows on the heels of Samsung Heavy Industries receiving an approval in principle from DNV for a solid oxide fuel-cell-powered LNG carrier.
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