Methanol Fuel Cell-Powered Passenger Vessel Put into Operation in Germany

Tuesday August 29, 2017

The methanol fuel cell-powered MS innogy has been put into operation at the City of Essen. Image Credit: innogy

innogy SE (innogy) has announced that the excursion vessel MS innogy – said to be the first ship in Germany to be powered by an “environmentally friendly” methanol fuel cell – has been put into operation on Lake Baldeney in the City of Essen.

“In many areas of logistics, such as in the case of ships, trucks and aircraft, it will take a relatively long time until they can also be operated on a purely electric basis. In this case, the ‘green fuel’ solution presented by innogy could be an interim solution to reduce climate-damaging emissions in the transport sector quickly and efficiently,” said innogy.

innogy explains that the energy required for the new excursion vessel’s operation will come exclusively from renewable sources, having “zero impact” on the climate.

“With MS innogy we are enabling people to experience the energy revolution directly. We obtain high-tech research from the lab and show in a very practical way what a clean energy future without oil could look like, and that includes quiet, clean propulsion systems that conserve our climate,” said Peter Terium, CEO of innogy.

“The new MS innogy is the energy revolution that you can touch. However, it is also proof that we have the right strategy at innogy to find an alternative to oil as quickly as possible, by producing green fuels such as methanol with renewable energy and using them to drive environmentally friendly ships, aircraft and heavy goods transport.”

MS innogy will specifically be powered by a methanol fuel cell to produce electricity for the vessel’s battery-backed electric motor.

The fuel cell will utilise methanol generated at Lake Baldeney’s hydroelectric plant, with carbon dioxide filtered from the surrounding air and converted into methanol with the aid of electricity and water in a two-by-two-meter-high installation.

“With this innovative project, Essen-based innogy SE is chartering new territory across Europe. Water, CO2 from the air and green power combine to form a climate-neutral energy source. These provide the ideal basis for a success story,” said Thomas Kufen, Mayor of the City of Essen.

In March, Ship & Bunker reported that, as tightening environmental regulations lead the shipping industry to explore the use of alternatives to conventional bunkers, industry sources have suggested that the use of methanol as marine fuel will be largely dictated by commercial considerations.