SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group will commercialize a fuel cell electric propulsion system for ships in a cooperative project with domestic partners. It marked the auto group's first strategic partnership involving the application of its fuel cell system technology in the shipbuilding industry, which is under pressure to comply with tightened greenhouse gas regulations and introduce eco-friendly vessels.
Hyundai Motor said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Global Service, an engineering service wing of South Korea's Hyundai shipbuilding group, and Korean Register (KR), a maritime classification society. They would commercialize a small-sized model in the second half of 2022 and larger systems later.
With Hyundai Motor's fuel cells and technical support, Hyundai Global Service will manufacture a propulsion system, while Korean Register will establish standards for type approval. "This MOU signals Hyundai Motor’s entry into the fuel cell-powered marine vessel market," Hyundai Motor's fuel cell center head Kim Sae-hoon said in a statement on July 8.
Hyundai Motor said the project would serve as a platform to identify and evaluate business opportunities for fuel cell-powered ships. The auto group has tried to expand the application of its automotive fuel cell technology to other areas such as sea vessels, railways and power generation.
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