ABB solutions picked for Samskip’s hydrogen-powered newbuilds

Written by Nick Blenkey
hydrogen fuel cell powered Samskip containership

Samskip says that, once commissioned, the two just-ordered vessels will be among the first zero emission short sea container vessels in the world. [Image: Naval Dynamics]

The two hydrogen fueled short sea containerships ordered by Rotterdam-headquartered Samskip earlier this year will feature a comprehensive ABB power, propulsion and automation system

On order at India’s Cochin Shipyard for deliveries in the third and fourth quarters of 2025, the 135-meter vessels are being built to a design by Norway’s Naval Dynamics AS and will have a capacity of about 365 45-foot long high cube containers. They will operate between Oslo Fjord and Rotterdam, a distance of approximately 700 nautical miles.

Each will be powered by a 3.2 MW hydrogen fuel cell, with diesel generators installed for back-up

In addition to the integration of the fuel cells, ABB’s scope of supply includes the new, compact version of its ABB Onboard DC Grid power distribution system to ensure the optimal use of energy on board. The vessels will also feature ABB’s energy storage solution control, with its ABB Ability System 800xA automation technology providing seamless operation of onboard equipment. The ships will use ABB Ability remote diagnostic systems to optimize safety and performance through 24/7 remote support.

Samskip anticipates that each vessel will be able to avoid around 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year when powered by fuel cells and by using green shore power at the port of call. While setting new standards for environmentally friendly operations, they ships expected to perform at the same level as Samskip’s conventional vessels.

The project is in line IMO’s revised greenhouse gas reduction strategy, which calls on reaching net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping close to 2050, with a commitment to increase the uptake of low-carbon fuels by 2030.

“ABB is delighted to collaborate with Samskip and Cochin Shipyard Limited on this project which will help to avoid emissions and reduce operational expenses,” said Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports. “ABB is at the forefront of shipping’s most ambitious plans for decarbonization and setting new standards for green maritime transportation.”

“Samskip’s level of ambition on emissions requires partners like ABB, with similar objectives for innovation and the willingness to invest in the future,” said Erik Hofmeester, head of fleet management, Samskip Group. “These ships are a milestone for the maritime industry, delivering hydrogen fuel cells as a clean and renewable technology.”

“Cochin Shipyard is proud to partner with ABB in strengthening our position as an early mover in sustainable technology and supporting India’s vision to become a global hub for building green ships,” said Madhu S Nair, chairman and managing director, Cochin Shipyard Limited.

The project is co-funded by Norwegian state enterprise ENOVA.

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