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Korea’s HD KSOE, Infineon team up for ship electrification

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SEOUL : South Korea’s top shipbuilder HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. joined hands with German Chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG for ship electrification to accelerate the development of eco-friendly vessels amid tougher marine emissions regulations.

HD KSOE and Infineon said on Friday that they have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to jointly develop applications for the electrification of marine engines and machinery using energy-efficient power semiconductor technology.

“Together, we will combine our strengths to create energy-efficient power solutions for CO2-friendly propulsion drives,” HD KSOE Chief Technology Officer Chang Kwang-pil said in a statement, adding the cooperation underpins their efforts to lead ship electrification technology.

The intermediate holding company of HD Hyundai Group’s shipbuilding business has been developing eco-friendly decarbonized ship technology that uses electricity and hydrogen.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations maritime regulation agency, has been strengthening its rules to reduce emissions.


Global maritime transport is responsible for almost 2.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the IMO. It produces one billion tons of carbon dioxide a year.

The transition to electric ships is imperative to mitigate the environmental impact of maritime transportation.

HD KSOE will cooperate with Infineon to create power solutions for propulsion drive technology, a core element for ship electrification, and enhance the reliability and performance of vessels’ propulsion drives. HD KSOE and its subsidiary HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. started developing a homegrown propulsion drive, which South Korea has been importing, with the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute.

Infineon’s power semiconductors drive the transformation towards clean, safe, and smart mobility services across all means of transportation. For modern maritime applications, they are a key factor in guaranteeing precise control of multiple power modules, such as large-capacity propulsion drives.

The German chipmaker plans to provide HD KSOE with technical assistance and know-how in semiconductor power modules and system solutions, as well as share information on new semiconductor trends for marine applications.

The two companies agreed to jointly develop power semiconductors optimized for propulsion drives and exchange ship electrification technology when necessary.

“This way, we contribute to a more sustainable marine engine ecosystem and drive the decarbonization of shipping,” said Peter Wawer, President of Infineon’s green industrial power division.

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