Anglo-Dutch oil & gas company, Royal Dutch Shell, has reportedly announced that it is conducting a feasibility assessment with partners. The study is the first such move for the company and intends to trial the deployment of hydrogen fuel cells for vessels in Singapore.

As per reliable sources, the trial will comprise the installation and development of an auxiliary power unit hydrogen fuel cell on an existing roll-on/roll-off vessel. The vessel will be used for transporting vehicles, goods, and equipment on lorries between S’pore and Shell’s Pulau Bukom manufacturing site, which is situated on an island close to the mainland.

For the uninitiated, a roll-on/roll-off vessel comprises a cargo ship that has been designed for carrying wheeled cargo comprising cars, which are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels.

According to Nick Potter, Shell Shipping and Maritime’s General Manager, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, the company looks upon hydrogen and fuel cells as a promising pathway for the decarbonization of shipping. Potter further added that working with partners in this way will help in developing the company’s understanding of this crucial technology.

As per Shell, if successful, the trial will help in paving the way for hydrogen-powered and cleaner shipping. The company also added that its analysis points towards hydrogen with fuel cells as the zero-emissions technology. This has the greatest potential for helping the shipping sector in the achievement of net-zero emissions by 2050, stated Shell.

For achieving the objectives set by the UN for the shipping industry, market leaders say that it is must that the first vessels with net-zero emissions enter the global fleet by the year 2030. For the same, hydrogen-powered ships could help in meeting the target.

It is to be noted that Shell will offer the hydrogen fuel and charter the present trial vessel. The company is also collaborating with SembCorp Marine Limited and LMG Marin, which will help in designing the hydrogen fuel cell and retrofitting the vessel.

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