TECO 2030 Makes Plans for Fuel Cell "Gigafactory" in Norway

fuel cell factory
Illustration courtesy TECO 2030

Published Feb 17, 2021 6:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

TECO 2030, a Norwegian manufacturer of scrubber and ballast water treatment systems, is shifting its focus to the manufacturing of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for marine applications. It aims to be the first company in Norway to build hydrogen fuel cells at scale. 

"Our ambition is to build an advanced innovation center combined with a giga factory, meaning that we will produce fuel cells with a capacity of 1200 megawatts, or 1.2 gigawatt, per year," says Tore Enger, CEO of TECO 2030 ASA. "We are optimizing fuel cells from the bottom up for heavy-duty marine use. We combine a best-in-class fuel cell solution with a long history of being a trusted engineering partner to leading companies in the global maritime industry,"

In an arrangement it previously used for the development of the Future Funnel - its scrubber design for SOx, NOx and PM - the engineering work for the TECO fuel cell was conducted in partnership with AVL, the world's largest independent powertrain consultancy. "There is simply no better partner for us as we aim to solve one of the major environmental challenges of our time," said Enger.

TECO has also signed a cooperation agreement with Thecla Bodewes Shipyards in the Netherlands for the development of hydrogen fuel cell propulsion for river vessels, tugs and coastal freighters. It has recently partnered with mechanical engineering company Slåttland Group to explore a range of projects, including work on hydrogen fuel cells and manufacturing plant design. 

The company is still exploring site options for the new gigafactory, and it is examining its financing options for the expected $120 million, ten-year investment. It hopes to secure support from the  the EU IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) initiative for hydrogen power, which is facilitated in Norway by the state-owned clean energy enterprise Enova. It expects to start fuel cell production next year. 

"We're thrilled about the extensive support for our plans from key actors within the shipping and energy industries as well as from universities. We're also excited about the Norwegian government’s clear message that industrialization of maritime fuel cells is an area of particular importance for Norway. This is a call to action we're now responding to," said Enger.