Corvus set to start developing maritime fuel cell systems with Toyota technology

Corvus Energy is set to start work on the development and production of sustainable, large scale maritime-certified hydrogen fuel cell systems incorporating technology supplied by Toyota at ts Bergen facility in Norway.

In a statement issued today (1 February), Corvus said that it is spearheading a collaboration with Norwegian partners Equinor, shipowners Norled and Wilhelmsen, ship design company LMG Marin, the NCE Maritime CleanTech cluster and the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) to develop and produce modularised proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems for the international marine market.

The project has received €5.2 million in funding from state agency Innovation Norway.

In addition to supplying the fuel cell technology, Toyota is also a ‘key partner’ in the initiative, having signed an agreement with Corvus Energy in December.  

While Corvus will use Toyota fuel cell technology as a ‘building block’, a specific marine control system uniting the battery and fuel cell operation will be developed for easier integration with power management systems from a range of system integrators.

Corvus said that the plan is to showcase the first marine fuel cell system onboard a vessel in 2023 and the product will be marine certified and available for commercial delivery from 2024.

Corvus Energy CEO Geir Bjørkeli commented: ‘Adding fuel cell modules to our product portfolio is a natural step for Corvus and advances our vision to be the leading supplier of zero-emission marine solutions. Fuel cell technology has reached a maturity level where scale-up of systems will be the next step. Toyota is in the forefront of the development and is by far the best partner for us to make this a success.’

Thiebault Paquet, Director of the Fuel Cell Business Group at Toyota Motor Europe, added: ‘Decarbonisation is inevitable and at Toyota, we are convinced that hydrogen will play a central role in creating a better future, both environmentally and economically. Our recently established Fuel Cell Business group in Brussels is looking forward to working with Corvus Energy and the consortium members to offer fuel cell solutions for marine applications. This project will play an important role in the development of the Hydrogen Society.’

Toyota has also been involved in other maritime fuel cell projects. In February 2020, for example, it was announced that a fuel cell based on components used in the Toyota Mirai automobile would be installed on the energy-autonomous hydrogen vessel, Energy Observer.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor