Coast Guard advances hydrogen-powered towboat project

(NEW ORLEANS) — Maritime Partners has received a design basis agreement (DBA) from the U.S. Coast Guard for M/V Hydrogen One, a towboat with e1 Marine hydrogen generator technology that will be utilized for the vessel’s power plant.

M/V Hydrogen One is being designed as a first-of-its-kind vessel using new, cleaner fuel cell technology that works by converting stored methanol to hydrogen. The produced hydrogen is output, on-demand, to the fuel cell to generate power for the vessel.

A successful test of this technology was completed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June 2023, proving it to be a viable option as the sole power generation source for vessel propulsion.

Elliott Bay Design Group rendering

“The signing of this agreement opens the pathway for us to deploy our technological capabilities,” said Bick Brooks, co-founder and CEO of Maritime Partners. “With this, Hydrogen One is one step closer to becoming the world’s first vessel to utilize hydrogen generator technology greatly reducing emissions, increasing efficiency and providing a model for cleaner energy use as the industry continues to seek ways to decarbonize.”

The DBA process was established by the Coast Guard to set the rules for new and novel technology proposed for installation on marine vessels. Maritime Partners worked with several industry leaders on the Hydrogen One project, including Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group, which is designing the towboat; Bourg, La.-based Intracoastal Iron Works, which is the selected shipyard; e1 Marine; RIX Industries; and Power Cell Group, among others.

“Maritime Partners is strongly committed to developing and utilizing sustainable, clean energy solutions, as the entire maritime industry continues to seek alternative fuel options that are cleaner, greener and more efficient. The development of Hydrogen One is part of that commitment,” said Dave Lee, Maritime Partners’ vice president of technology and innovation.

The signing of the DBA ensures that as the M/V Hydrogen One project advances, Maritime Partners will be working toward an agreed-upon framework with the Coast Guard for the design, arrangement and engineering aspects of the power system and associated safety systems for plan review, inspection and eventual certification.

– Maritime Partners

By Professional Mariner Staff