ABB, Samskip team up for pioneering hydrogen-powered container ships


In a game-changing collaboration, ABB is gearing up to supply an exhaustive power distribution system for two avant-garde short-sea container vessels of Rotterdam-based Samskip Group. These vessels are setting milestones by being among the first globally to embrace hydrogen as fuel. Crafted by India’s prime shipbuilding titan, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, these 135-meter ships are slated for Q3 and Q4 2025 unveilings. They’ll traverse between Oslo Fjord and Rotterdam, spanning roughly 700 nautical miles.

A Deep Dive into ABB’s Innovations

Apart from the revolutionary integration of hydrogen fuel cells, ABB’s offering is enriched with their new, nimble variant of the ABB Onboard DC Grid™ power system, ensuring on-board energy is harnessed to the maximum. Coupled with ABB’s energy storage control, the vessels will tap into the prowess of industry-topping automation tech, ABB Ability System 800xA. This implies flawless equipment operation on-board. Bolstered by the ABB Ability™ Remote Diagnostic Systems, 24/7 remote aid will ensure the vessels remain at peak safety and performance.

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The Future is Hydrogen

Fuel cells, the heart of this innovation, morph hydrogen’s chemical energy into electricity. Harnessing renewables for hydrogen production equates to a pristine energy chain. As the maritime world seeks decarbonization, hydrogen fuel cells emerge as the beacon, with immense potential to slash greenhouse gases and spike energy efficiency. Each of Samskip’s ships, armed with a 3.2 MW hydrogen fuel cell and diesel backups, is set to curtail a staggering 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, all while matching performance with conventional counterparts.

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Aligning with Global Green Maritime Ambitions

This groundbreaking endeavor aligns with the International Maritime Organization’s green vision targeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and an escalated low-carbon fuel adoption by 2030. Juha Koskela from ABB Marine & Ports shared ABB’s thrill in joining forces with Samskip and Cochin Shipyard Limited, highlighting ABB’s commitment to green maritime transportation. Echoing this sentiment, Samskip Group’s Erik Hofmeester underlined the venture’s emblematic nature in pushing renewable tech, while Madhu S Nair from Cochin Shipyard Limited showcased their commitment to sustainable tech.

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Green Vision Co-Sponsored by ENOVA

This avant-garde project is being co-sponsored by Norwegian powerhouse ENOVA. Functioning under Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment, ENOVA is a staunch advocate for a green energy shift and the advancement of energy and climate technology.

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