ABB has been contracted to supply a hydrogen fuel cell-based power/propulsion package to a French push boat newbuild. Scheduled for delivery in 2021, the craft will be operated by Compagnie Fluviale de Transport (CFT), which specialises in the waterborne transportation of chemicals, household wastes and refrigerated containers. The boat will service the French section of the Rhône River.
Once a builder has been selected for this project (which should be confirmed in August or September this year), ABB will supply a package of DC/DC and DC/AC converters, fuel cell control systems, filters, propulsion motors and power management systems – intended to make the vessel emissions-free.
The order is linked to the European Commission’s Flagships project, and ABB is working in tandem with partners including Finnish research group VTT (which has also been acting as project coordinator) and fuel cell technology developer Ballard Power Systems (see Ship & Boat International May/June 2019, page 61) to develop “an installation enabling a 400kW [2 x 200kW] fuel cell to power vessel operations”, ABB comments.
The company adds: “Once the fuel cell power plant has been fitted, the plan is to run the vessel daily.” Other project partners include LMG Marin, NCE Maritime CleanTech and PersEE.