Implementation of Ship Hybridisation
Priority AxisLow Carbon Technologies
Low Carbon Technologies
Lead partnerAutonoom Gemeentebedrijf Haven Oostende
Project budget15 984 447 €
ERDF amount9 206 068 €
Shipping industry and suppliers must invest in low carbon propulsion systems, but facing a number of market failures, as:
- Vessels have long operational lifetimes (30–40 years), so little incentive to retrofit or replace
- Number of new built ships per year is low, so ROI in innovative systems for shipbuilders is low
- Limited faith and knowledge in effectiveness of alternative propulsion technologies
- Alternative fuelling infrastructures in ports are limited
- Regulation, security and certification haven’t been clarified
- Market control of traditional oil/gas companies, protecting traditional fuel systems
To tackle barriers, challenges are:
- To demonstrate the effectiveness of low-carbon propulsion technologies in different types of vessels
- To demonstrate the feasibility of H2 bunkering facilities in ports
- To develop tools/methods which demonstrate and support the transition to low-carbon propulsion systems for new built vessels and by retrofitting
Development, testing and validation of technical tools and socio-economic models (business cases) for the implementation of hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technologies in vessels and ports, and realising the development and the demonstration of the feasibility of these technologies by retrofitting different types of existing vessels, different kind of new built vessels and new bunkering facilities in ports in order to increase the adoption likelihood of this low or zero carbon technology in a sector with high impact potential.
- Developed, engineered and built or retrofitted:
- multimode hybrid configuration in small inspection craft;
- crew transfer vessel and retrofitted barge with a hybrid (diesel-electric and H2) propulsion system;
- inland barge with hydrogen based hybrid (H2FC) propulsion system
- new (400-)passenger transport vessel with a full H2 based propulsion system
- a H2 fuel cell module to be used in various vessels
- H2-bunkering station for vessels in the port of Ostend
- Method to retrofit small craft vessels, adapting automotive design and control experience
- Business cases for transformations regarding: retrofitting existing vessels, new built H2-fuel cell vessels, wireless recharging systems, use/storage of H2
- Supporting tool for certification and insuring of all kind of hybrid and hydrogen vessels and fuel bunkering facilities
- Overall report of tests and monitoring in real life circumstances of all retrofitted and new built vessels using hybrid and H2 propulsion systems
Cross border approach
To achieve objectives and results it is necessary to work cross borders and to have a partnership which includes a variety of fleet owners, engine builders, knowledge institutes and port authorities. Cross border working is necessary because navigation is often cross-border. Permissions, certifications and bunkering facilities should be designed and settled in a way to create standards such that shippers have certainty when starting with low carbon propulsion systems. Our cross border approach makes it possible to retrofit different kind of existing vessels and to build new vessels by using hybrid and H2/fuel cell propulsion systems. All technological knowledge and data is available in the consortium for successful pilots to demonstrate feasibility of these systems. This collaboration is also necessary to develop and valorise applicable tools/methods and to demonstrate results to a large network of companies and stakeholders which will be of importance for further uptake and roll-out.
ISHY has made a good start in the first period of the project (2019). All start-up documents have been delivered in time, the project/process management works well and some communication activities are realized (start conference, posters, press releases). In the 2nd year (2020) the project has made less progress. Due to COVID almost all pilot/investing partners have decided to postpone investments until they know what the impact of the virus will be on the overall economic situation and their own company. A positive aspect of this period was that companies have had more time to do more research on and rethinking of their original plans. The world of H2-shipping is only in an experimental phase. A lot of technical issues aren't solved yet and new developments are coming up almost every month. Therefor they now know much better what is possible, what they want to realise and what the real costs will be. This will lead to serious modifications in 4 of 5 pilots/investments. These changes are now worked out in detail and will lead to a proposal for a major modification to be submitted in beginning of May 2021. At that moment all investment partners will also know the new economic situation and the possibilities of their companies to invest in low carbon vessels.
Because of this situation also the financial management and financial claims had serious delays. The same goes for communication; because a lot of things were/are so unsure, we decided to communicate less.
Despite the COVID-crisis and the stagnation in the preparations of investments, the knowledge partners have made progress with their research activities in WP1: Output 1 is on track, output 2 has little delays, output 3 is ready, output 4 has serious delays because of changes in pilots and output 5 is fully on schedule. In WP2 research has taken place about hydrodynamic resistance of the pilot vessels and output 6 is completed. In output 7 some activities have taken place, but overall it will have serious delays. The conceptual design of the fuel cell power module (D.2.5.1 part of O8) is ready and the detailed design in progress.
The cross-border cooperation proceeds well although we couldn't meet much. Knowledge partners have collaborated well on the development of tools and methods and pilot partners contributed there where needed. In the other way around, knowledge partners have supported pilot partners with preparational works. All partners make good contributions to meetings and workshops.