SHI inks deal to develop SOFC-powered vessels


Samsung Heavy Industries intends to present designs of SOFC-powered vessels to customers in 2022.Samsung Heavy Industries intends to present designs of SOFC-powered vessels to customers in 2022.



Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with US based-fuel cell producer Bloom Energy to design and develop fuel cell-powered ships.

“By signing this joint development agreement, SHI has a plan to develop eco-friendly ships that will lead the future of the industry,” said Haeki Jang, vice president of shipbuilding & drilling sales engineering at SHI.

“Our goal is to replace all existing main engines and generator engines with these highly efficient solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to align with the International Maritime Organization’s 2030 and 2050 environmental targets.”

SHI is actively participating in all of the relevant activities during the joint development, from early studies to project completion, to build highly efficient fuel cell-powered ships. Bloom Energy has created a dedicated, cross-functional team of engineers to marinise Bloom Servers to handle the demands of the marine environment.

The companies are working towards a deadline of 2022, when SHI intends to present the design to potential customers.

The joint development agreement between SHI and Bloom Energy follows an Approval in Principle for fuel cell-powered Aframax crude oil tankers from DNV GL, featuring LNG-fuelled SOFCs, announced in September 2019. The US fuel cell developer noted that an LNG carrier design was the next vessel class to be submitted for design approval.

Following commercialisation, the two companies anticipate that the market for Bloom Energy Servers on SHI ships could grow to 300MW annually.

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