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Swiss-based multinational ABB has announced a complete propulsion and automation order for Samskip Group’s hydrogen-powered vessels.

The 135m vessels are set to be delivered by 2025 from Cochin Shipyard in Kerela, India.

According to ABB, Samskip’s vessels will be powered by 3.2 MW hydrogen fuel cells, gathering the capacity to reduce carbon emissions by 25,000t annually.

The project is co-funded by the Norwegian state enterprise ENOVA. Further financial details were not disclosed.

Juha Koskela, division president of ABB Marine & Ports, emphasised the sustainability advantages of the agreement: “ABB is delighted to collaborate with Samskip and Cochin Shipyard Limited on this project, which will help to avoid emissions and reduce operational expenses.

“ABB is at the forefront of shipping’s most ambitious plans for decarbonisation and setting new standards for green maritime transportation.”

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By GlobalData

According to ABB, although the vessels will be fuelled more sustainably, they are still expected to perform at equal levels to conventionally fuelled ships.

This agreement aligns with the revised International Maritime Organisation (IMO) strategy which is targeting net zero “by or around 2050”.

According to the IMO, the next level of ambition leans towards the adoption of zero or near-zero GHG emission technologies, fuels and energy sources. It states they must account for at least 5%, with a goal of 10%, of the energy consumed by international shipping by 2030.

The order, which was noted in ABB’s Q3 financial highlights, includes the integration of hydrogen cells alongside ABB’s power and energy systems.

The ABB solution onboard the Samskip vessels is set to comprise a smaller version of the ABB Onboard DC GridTM power distribution system.

The vessels are also set to be outfitted with ABB’s energy storage solution control, as well as the industry-leading automation technology, ABB AbilityTM System 800xA, which will ensure the smooth functioning of onboard equipment.

This announcement is followed by collaborations between the cities of Rotterdam and Oslo with Samskip to develop a new Green Corridor for short-sea shipping.

According to Samskip, this will be supplied through two of its “next-generation zero-emission hydrogen SeaShuttle vessels”.