General Electric’s (GE) Power Conversion business and Nedstack, a fuel cell manufacturer, have entered into a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for powering zero-emission cruise vessels.
The ultimate goal of GE and Nedstack is creating a truly zero-emission system that will enable the world’s first sustainable, clean cruise ships.
As explained, the cruise industry shares a joint responsibility to eliminate the possible negative impacts it might have on port communities, the health of passengers and staff, and on the environment as a whole.
Responsible zero-emission shipping is not only environmentally needed but will greatly contribute to the quality of the cruise experience itself, the two companies believe.
Shipowners are already under pressure to comply with the reduced sulfur limit regulations coming into force next year. Both global International Maritime Organization (IMO) and regional regulations require marine vessels to reduce emissions or eliminate them altogether.
“Existing clean power solutions are focused on reducing emissions. Eliminating emissions altogether demands a paradigm shift,” Arnoud van de Bree, CEO of Nedstack, said.
“Hence why GE and Nedstack have been working extensively on the ‘marinization’ of fuel cell technology to create a total zero-emission alternative that truly meets the needs of tomorrow’s cruise industry,” he added.
“We’re proud to be working with Nedstack on what we believe will be a game changer for the cruise industry,” Ed Torres, CEO of Marine and O&G, GE’s Power Conversion business, pointed out.
“This partnership brings together a rich pool of expertise that’s spearheading much needed innovation. Given the marine transport and shipping sector’s changing regulatory landscape, this innovation could not be more timely,” he further said.
The duo envisages using this technology on passenger ships, replacing traditional diesel engines with fuel cells, and heavy fuel oil (HFO) with hydrogen. So far, Nedstack and GE have designed the concept for a two-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell power plant on an expedition vessel. The review result has been positive, according to the companies.
“Ships are increasingly being required to shut down their engines in port. We’ve seen this in California, for example, and China has introduced an emission control area in the Yangtse delta. However, the trend is shifting from emissions reduction to total elimination,” Azeez Mohammed, President and CEO, GE’s Power Conversion business, noted.