Shell has entered into two different partnerships this week. On the one hand, the energy company will work on the development of maritime fuel cells with South Korean Doosan Fuel Cell. On the other, Shell has joined forces with French GTT to work on a liquid hydrogen (LH2) carrier and an LH2 cargo containment system.

Shell has been moving away from its oil & gas history more and more over the past couple of years. With plans for participation in offshore wind projects and a biofuel facility in Rotterdam among others, Shell seeks to become a net zero carbon energy supplier by 2050 or sooner.

The cooperation with Doosan, which also includes Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), aims to commercialise maritime fuel cells by 2025. Doosan will develop and test low temperature (620℃) Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) and related systems. Shell will be in charge of ship orders and management, ship operation and applicability project management. KSOE will install the maritime fuel cells and modify and integrate systems for marine applications. Together, they plan to operate a vessel powered by a 600 kW marine SOFC as an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) over a year to be able to develop an optimal system.

The fuel cell systems are to be marine certified by 2024. Commercialisation of the systems is scheduled for 2025. They intend to include ship owners, ship builders and maritime classification societies in the consortium moving forward.

Also read: Shell and ScottishPower to develop first large-scale floating wind farm in the UK

Hydrogen supply chain

Shell also struck a cooperation deal with cryogenic containment system company GTT to develop technologies to enable the transportation of liquid hydrogen (LH2). This agreement is part of Shell’s strategy to develop a hydrogen energy supply chain by creating scalable and safe liquefied hydrogen shipping technologies. This includes the development by GTT of a preliminary LH2 carrier design and an LH2 cargo containment system for a mid-size LH2 carrier.

The demand for hydrogen across multiple sectors is forecast to increase to meet the need for net zero carbon energy sources in the energy transition. The ability to transport very large volumes of hydrogen in liquefied form, at -250°C, is one of the technological challenges that must be met in order to establish a reliable, efficient, and competitive hydrogen supply chain.

Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT: ‘Our cooperation will allow a new technological breakthrough in the shipping world with the safe and scalable deployment of liquid hydrogen transport.’

Picture by GTT.

Also read: Shell plans to build giant biofuels facility in Rotterdam