sHYpS: taking action towards the decarbonisation of the maritime industry

On June 29th and 30th, 13 leading representatives from various industrial, R&D and technology sectors gathered in Brussels for the kick-off meeting of the sHYpS project. sHYpS stands for ‘sustainable HYdrogen powered Shipping’.

Hydrogen, a promising solution for the maritime industry

The general objective of sHYpS is to support the decarbonisation of the maritime industry, by speeding up hydrogen adoption. This is pursued by developing an efficient liquid hydrogen storage solution before a fully developed logistics infrastructure (e.g. for bunkering) is in place. The storage solution will be applied during the first emission-free cruise programme in Norway, to be extended to multiple types of vessels globally.

Technology-wise, the project will develop:

  • a novel intermodal 40’ ISO c-type container for liquid hydrogen storage
  • a detailed design of a modular containerised powertrain based on optimised PEM Fuel Cells
  • a dedicated logistic process.

The project will adopt a risk-based design process and start the certification of the storage components. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of this hydrogen-based solution, the container system – including the gas handling and energy management systems – will be installed on board a newly-built ocean cruise vessel by the leading operator and project promoter Viking. It will be tested during the shakedown cruise in 2026, with a limited power Fuel Cell.

Furthermore, the design of on-board integration with a complete fuel-cell propulsion system will be completed. In parallel, the work will define a logistics network based on swapping pre-filled containers. The business plan will then set a perspective study to scale-up capacities.

A broad business perspective

With the right logistics infrastructure in place, the ISO container technology will be potentially able to produce hundreds of units per year. In the meantime, the upscaled container design will be adaptable to multiple types of vessels, thus addressing a variety of segments in sea and inland waterways transport. The value chain will include liquid hydrogen suppliers, allowing them to speed up their supply to thousands of tons per year in the next twenty years.

Working together in a powerful consortium

In total, the sHYpS project consortium consists of eleven partners from seven European countries (Italy, Norway, Czechia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands). CiaoTech, part of PNO Group, is in charge of the Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation activities. The R&D advisory team will be particularly working on a systematic ecosystem mapping and technology watch. Experts from other parts of PNO Group – Nehem and Innovation Engineering – will assist. The project is part of the vast hydrogen portfolio managed by PNO’s own working group of hydrogen experts, where EGEN holds a prominent role.

Funded by Horizon Europe

sHYpS has been granted 8.6 million euros from the European Union under the Horizon Europe Climate, Energy and Mobility programme. The project will last until May 2026. By that time, the project consortium will have proven the value of hydrogen as a renewable fuel in the maritime industry, supporting the first emission-free cruise in the EU, expected by no later than 2030.

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