Korean maritime fuel cell drones enter the European market through Dutch gateway

The Korean company Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) and the Dutch Noord-Holland North Development Agency (Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord (ONHN)) have become partners to research and to develop the deployment and exploration and to innovate the technical application of fuel cell maritime drones, developed by Doosan Mobility Innovation.

Fuel cell maritime drones

DMI will make available its fuel cell maritime drones for tests and demonstration flights to validate and explore the implementation and deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in the maritime and offshore industry. The pilots and use cases are supported by METIP, the Maritime Emerging Technology Innovation Program, a development, research and innovation program around the city of Den Helder in the Netherlands.

DroneQ Aerial Services, a premier METIP partner, will be the UAS Operator participating in operating the Doosan fuel cell drones and executing the various European drone projects. John Troch, co-founder of DroneQ: “The Doosan hydrogen drone can fly for 2 hours and withstand harsh weather conditions, and therefore suitable for the complex maritime operations we are performing.”

North Sea: key role in the energy transition

Germany, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Belgium and the Netherlands are neighbouring the North Sea. The North Sea is hugely significant in terms of existing and planned offshore wind farms and it could become the innovative ‘energy garden’ or ‘living field lab’ of Western Europe. It is also one of the most intensively used seas in the world. Various functions can be found side by side there: shipping and shipping routes, nature reserves, fishing and aqua farming, defence / military training areas, sand extraction and dredging, cable gas and oil extraction.

In the coming years, the North Sea will play a key role in the energy transition. Large-scale development of offshore wind parks and other renewable energy sources, the dismantling and reuse of existing offshore oil & gas production assets, system integration of renewables, production and storage of hydrogen and carbon capture & offshore storage CCS are in progress and will be implemented in the coming years. UAVs in combination with other emerging technologies such as sensor- and image technology, data science, AI, VR/AR etc. will be used to reduce the carbon footprint, reduce costs, increase safety and improve efficiency.

Hydrogen drone

With a hydrogen drone that can fly for more than 2 hours, DMI will deliver emergency supplies and other supplies to offshore hubs 40-60 km away from the headquarters of an energy company located on land, or supply goods to marine energy facilities such as gas drilling facilities and wind turbines located in the sea. As a regular duty, it will also perform various missions such as search & rescue, facility inspection, and safety monitoring.

DMI CEO Doo-Soon Lee said, “This project in the North Sea is based on the actual demand of energy companies, so if this project is successfully completed, we expect that it will be of great help in product promotion.” “We will develop a business model project that will apply and utilize various empirical data gathered and use it as a basis to enter the European market.”

Thijs Pennink, CEO of ONHN said, “The cooperation between gives ONHN access to maritime drones with fuel cell technology that can be used for the validation and exploration of drone application and deployment in the offshore (energy) and maritime industry. The tests and demonstrations will gain insight and data to further develop drones for maritime and offshore use and deployment”.

About Doosan Mobility Innovation

Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) is a 100% invested company by Doosan Corportation, a global company with 18.5 billion dollars in revenue. With the long-endurance flight of fuel cell technology, DMI is acceleration the growth of the UAV industry.

About DroneQ Aerial Services

DroneQ Aerial Services is a next-generation Unmanned Vehicle System Operator & Integrator, where operational processes and autonomy are important factors for European operations in the air, on land, on water and underwater! DroneQ has more than 20 years of maritime experience and has roots in offshore, civilian sub- and underwater construction and calamities & incident response.

About Noord-Holland North Development Agency

Noord-Holland North Development Agency (Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord (ONHN)) is the executive organisation of the Noord-Holland North municipalities and the Province of Noord-Holland. ONHN is the region’s fixed point of contact for all matters related to the economic development of the region. ONHN has three ‘core activities’: business development, investment and acquiring companies and the agency carries out METIP Maritime Emerging Technologies Innovation Program which is a cooperation of the municipality of Den Helder, the region and province of North-Holland and the Dutch Central Government. METIP strives to (further) develop multiple maritime and technical maritime applicable innovations and applications by validation and exploration according to the principles of ‘open collaboration’ and ‘open innovation’. ONHN will test, demonstrate, explore and validate use cases in a demand driven way, which means that companies and (semi) public organisations, or a combination of them, come up with a ‘use case’.

Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch (available in Dutch and English). Wiebe is an experienced drone pilot (RPA-L certified) and has published a number of books about drone photography and cinematography.

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