Shell to pilot hydrogen fuel cells on auto ferry in Singapore


Shell will collaborate on a feasibility study aimed at testing the use of hydrogen fuel cells on ships, aiming for cleaner hydrogen-powered shipping. This activity is new to both  Shell and Singapore.

The test will develop and install a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell for the auxiliary power plant on an existing RoRo ferry, which transports goods, vehicles and equipment on trucks between the mainland and Shell’s Pulau Bukom production site.

Shell has partnered with SembCorp Marine and its 100% subsidiary LMG Marin, which will design a fuel cell and modernize the vessel, and Penguin International, which owns a car fleet.

A feasibility study will be carried out first. Installation of the fuel cell is scheduled for next year. The vessel will be in trial operation for 12 months.

Shell’s analysis reportedly shows that fuel cell hydrogen is the zero-emission technology with the greatest potential to achieve zero-emissions in the shipping sector by 2050.

Wong Weng Sun, President and CEO of Sembcorp Marine, said: “Hydrogen fuel cells can revolutionize shipping and transportation, enabling the industry to become greener and meet the ambitious 2050 target set by the International Maritime Organization to reduce overall emissions. greenhouse gases in international transport by at least 50 percent ”.

James Tham, Managing Director of Penguin, added: “Hydrogen is generally seen as the new frontier in alternative fuels for shipping. This test is of great importance to Singapore and the maritime community in general. The result of this test, based on a ferry upgrade we are doing for Shell, could quickly put many shipowners at the forefront of this alternative fuel. As a Singapore shipbuilder, owner and operator, we believe in being actively involved in decarbonization. ”

“This project, along with other joint industry projects, complements Singapore’s efforts to develop commercially viable solutions for decarbonizing the industry,” said Quah Ley Hoon, executive director of MPA.