Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today announced its collaboration with ABB (www.abb.com/marine) and other consortium partners in the Flagships project (https://flagships.eu) to develop and launch a zero-emission river push boat, planned for deployment in France in 2021 to push river barges. Ballard is planning to deliver 2 of its next-generation 200-kilowatt fuel cell modules in 2020, which will provide propulsion power for the vessel.
The river push boat will be owned and operated by Sogestran Group subsidiary Compagnie Fluviale de Transport (CFT) on the Rhône river in France, with the objective of demonstrating that fuel cell-powered propulsion offers a cost-effective and practical zero-emission solution for owners and builders of mid-sized vessels carrying more than 100 passengers or the equivalent freight volumes inland or coastally.
With maritime transport estimated to emit approximately 940 million tons of CO2annually, there is increased pressure for the shipping industry to deploy means of reducing harmful pollutants. Since the river push boat will use hydrogen fuel sourced from shore-based renewable energy for a Ballard zero-emission fuel cell system, the complete vessel energy chain will be emission-free.
Jesper Themsen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S noted, "This project work with ABB and other consortium partners – in addition to the large-scale fuel cell system work we are doing with ABB for the cruise ship segment – will benefit from our recently announced Marine Center of Excellence located here in Hobro. We continue to experience growing interest around zero-emission solutions for the marine industry, with this river push boat being another example."
Jostein Bogen, Product Manager for Fuel Cells at ABB Marine & Ports said, "Once the fuel cell power plant has been fitted, the plan is to run this vessel daily, with special attention being paid to the refueling procedures needed to meet the operating schedule. Trials will therefore also provide valuable insights into developing and optimizing the refueling infrastructure needed for hydrogen fuel cells in marine operations, in line with ABB's vision that both fuel cells and battery power represent ship propulsion's electric, digital and connected future."
This project is supported by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public private partnership established under Europe's Horizon 2020 frameworks to accelerate commercial realization of the technology in a range of transport and energy uses. This joint undertaking also receives support from Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel cell programs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.