A new joint venture aims to bring fuel cells using advanced methanol-to-hydrogen technology to the marine sector — including the inland waterways market.
It has been formed by chemical and product tanker specialist Ardmore Shipping Corporation (NYSE: ASC), New Orleans headquartered Maritime Partners LLC and Bend, Ore., based Element 1 Corp., a leading developer of advanced hydrogen generation systems used to power fuel cells.
The three parties are taking equal shares in a partnership to form “E1 Marine.”
The new company will have a worldwide remit for the marketing, development, licensing and sale of E1’s hydrogen generation systems for the marine industry, including shipping, refrigerated containers, offshore energy, renewable energy, passenger and leisure, and certain port infrastructure and related applications.
“We are very pleased to establish a strategic relationship with E1 and Maritime Partners to deliver this unique hydrogen delivery system to the marine sector,” said Ardmore CEO Anthony Gurnee.
“We are excited about the market opportunity for E1’s methanol-to-hydrogen technology,” continued Gurnee. “We believe it is safer and cheaper than other alternatives for onboard hydrogen delivery and, when using standard methanol, is operationally cost competitive with diesel engines even today, while emitting zero particulates, zero NOx, zero SOx, and 30-50% less carbon than a diesel engine of the same power rating.
“The E1 system is carbon-neutral when run on renewable methanol, should prove to be very cost competitive with other alternatives, and if desired can be built or retrofitted to run on ammonia.”
“Element 1 is delighted to ally with Ardmore and Maritime Partners to deliver commercial solutions for the marine sector that will significantly reduce the carbon intensity as well as other harmful emissions (particulate matter, NOx, and SOx) traditionally associated with burning fossil fuels,” said Dr. Dave Edlund, Co-Founder and CEO of Element 1 Corp.
He added that, while fuel cell technology has matured substantially over recent decades, the supply of hydrogen as feedstock to fuel cells has lagged considerably, resulting in significant logistic and economic challenges to the wide-scale deployment of fuel cells.
“E1’s methanol-to-hydrogen technology offers a broad solution to this challenge,” said Edlund. “Importantly, Ardmore and Maritime Partners provide unique access to existing markets in international shipping and inland waterways.”
INLAND MARINE POTENTIAL
“We are pleased to partner with E1 and Ardmore to drive the adoption of E1’s hydrogen purification technology across the global maritime landscape,” said Bick Brooks, Co-Founder and CEO of Maritime Partners LLC. “We are particularly excited about the applications for this technology within the inland marine industry, as it offers the potential to materially lower carbon emissions in the near-term and provides a clear path to achieving a zero-carbon footprint. Importantly, we believe this technology is currently cost competitive with diesel internal combustion engines.”