IMO approves safety regulations for fuel cell propulsion

The safety regulations needed for the approval of fuel cell propelled ships have finally been passed by the International Maritime Organization. After ten years of development efforts, the regulation will finally enter into force from May 2022 after the Maritime Safety Committee’s approval. As per the Association for Shipbuilding and Marine Technology (VSM) reports, now it will be possible to draft the course for wider application of climate-neutral ships in the industry and realize the dream of emission-free ships and climate-neutral fuels.

Dr. Ralf Soren Marquardt, Managing Director of VSM and the IMO representative of the European Shipbuilding Association called this approval as a milestone for better energy-efficient ships and alternative sources. Marquardt has said that this approval from IMO will unlock competitive advantages and open the gates for the maritime industry to contribute towards climate protection and energy transition.

The IMO decision has arrived just in time and will allow the European shipyards to put market-ready innovations into practical application. Germany alone has made numerous innovations related to energy supply systems in its course of the research project e4ships- fuel cells in maritime use.

This year, Aidanova, a cruise ship operated by Aida Cruises will be retrofitted with fuel cells. It will be the first cruise vessel to sail with fuel cells technology. Dr. Reinhard Luken, the Managing Director of VSM has said that after IMO approval, now it’s the nod from Brussels that will clear the way for industry-specific framework conditions for the energy transition in the maritime industry.

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