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ABB & Ballard Power Systems partner to develop MW-scale fuel cell power plant for shipping industry

ABB and Ballard Power Systems have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on developing the next-generation fuel cell power system for sustainable marine e-mobility.

ABB and Ballard Power Systems will leverage the existing kilowatt-scale fuel cell technologies and optimize them to create a pioneering megawatt-scale solution suitable for powering larger ships. With an electrical generating capacity of 3MW (4000 HP), the new system will fit within a single module no bigger in size than a traditional marine engine running on fossil fuels.


The fuel cell power system, to be jointly designed, developed and validated by ABB and Ballard Power Systems, is anticipated to play a role in accelerating the industry-wide adoption of sustainable solutions for marine e-mobility, and help ship-owners meet the increasing demands for clean operations.

This MoU is a significant next step in our ongoing relationship with ABB, the innovative market leader in marine solutions. The rapidly evolving marine market represents an exciting growth opportunity for zero-emission fuel cell technology. And, Ballard’s prior development and deployment of megawatt-scale containerized PEM fuel cell systems for land-based use gives us the critical experience and knowledge to collaborate effectively on the development of clean energy solutions for key marine market applications.

Fuel cell systems can have various applications for vessels, such as providing power for a ship’s hotel operations during the time of docking, or for powering the propulsion when ships are at sea. During the initial phase, the collaboration will focus on the development of fuel cell power systems for passenger vessels.

The next generation of ships—electric, digital and connected—will require energy sources that are not only able to meet the increasing demands for fuel efficiency, but will also enable cleaner and safer shipping. We are excited to collaborate with Ballard Power Systems on driving the development of the next-generation fuel cell technology that will power the vessels of the future.

—Peter Terwiesch, president ABB’s Industrial Automation division

ABB is already actively involved in collaborative development of the fuel cell technology for marine applications, including research, testing and a pilot installation implementation.



Interesting FC development.

The same/similar containerized mass produced large FCs could be used for trains, hospitals, isolated towns & factories. Adjacent REs (solar/wind) could supply the e-energy required to produce clean H2.

Excess H2 could supply local FCEVs.


An excellent application of the FC with many compelling features. Additionally, the surface area of ships could easily accommodate solar cells and battery storage which could be used for additional buffering power.


Hospitals and banks that need power 24/7 have use MCFCs for decades.


@ SJS, you're being a killjoy, let them have their fun


Stating a fact.


For ship propulsion would not high temp fuelcells running on LNG be a nobrajner?


Yes, ships with MCFC/SOFC could run on LNG.

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