Ricardo joins pan-European hydrogen shipping consortium

UK engineering firm Ricardo is set to play a key role in the sustainable HYdrogen powered Shipping (sHYpS) project being funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.


According to the company, Ricardo will lead on the specification, design, build and test of a 375kW fuel cell module, as well as the design of a large multi-MW power plant that will combine several fuel cell modules. The 40-ft containerised solution is intended to be installed on board passenger ships with a view to helping the maritime sector on its difficult decarbonisation journey.

“The shipping industry is facing considerable challenges to find a solution to achieve zero-emissions navigation in line with future global regulatory targets,” said Adrian Schaffer, president of Emerging Mobility at Ricardo.

“This project is at the forefront of innovation, with the prospect of using hydrogen fuel cell technology to support the industry meeting its sustainability objectives. We’re delighted to be part of the consortium creating and delivering innovation in this sector. Our involvement recognises our growing expertise and experience in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, where we are working with a range of customers to provide clean, efficient solutions, which reduce carbon and emissions across several sectors, including automotive and aerospace.”

The sHYpS project features 13 partners from across six European countries. It is aiming to test a containerised hydrogen solution on a Viking cruise ship as part of a hybrid power plant by 2024/2025. The project will implement and demonstrate hydrogen storage technology on one of Viking’s newbuild fjords cruise vessels, alongside its complete gas handling and energy management system. After initial testing and shakedown, the project will look to expand to include a 6MW PEM FC-based powertrain that will enable a 14-day fjord cruise to reduce emissions by 50 per cent.

Ricardo will be engaging with fellow consortium member Lloyd’s Register to initiate the classification process for its segment of the system in line with classification rules that are currently being drawn up. Testing of the first module will take place in Ricardo’s new 400kW hydrogen fuel cell test chamber at the company’s UK headquarters. Ricardo and Lloyd’s Register are participating in the Horizon Europe programme with the backing of UKRI through the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee.

“I congratulate Ricardo for their success in Horizon Europe and look forward to seeing the outcomes of the important work that sHYpS is doing,” said Mike Biddle, executive director – Net Zero at Innovate UK (part of UKRI).

“I encourage anyone else who is considering applying to Horizon Europe to go for it. As Ricardo did, they can draw on UKRI guarantee funding while the UK awaits formal association to the EU programme and get advice and guidance from the network of UK Horizon Europe National Contact Points.”