Energy transition

Holland Shipyards to construct hydrogen-powered fuel cell propulsion system for inland shipping

08 March 2021
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Holland Shipyards will be fitting the inland container vessel Maas with a new hydrogen-powered fuel cell propulsion system. The refit was commissioned by the Rotterdam-based firm Future Proof Shipping (FPS).

Inland vessel runs on hydrogen in port of Rotterdam
The container vessel Maas, which will soon run entirely on hydrogen. (Photo: Holland Shipyards)

The Holland Shipyard Group will be converting the container ship, which measures 110 metres (length) by 11.45 metres (width), at its shipyard in Hardinxveld, the Netherlands. It expects to round off the vessel’s conversion to hydrogen by December 2021. The ship’s owner previously entered into a time charter agreement with terminal operator BCTN regarding the operation of a scheduled service between Rotterdam and BCTN’s terminals in Belgium. The terminal operator aims to be a frontrunner in the development of clean and sustainable transport. The refit of this vessel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by some 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Maas will be carrying container cargo between Rotterdam and Antwerp and is expected to significantly reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions along this route, by around 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. FPS has received financial support for this refit from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (through its Sustainable Shipping grant scheme), the Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme (via the ZEM Ports NS project) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s ‘Clean inland shipping and sustainable logistics in Rotterdam’ incentive scheme, which is implemented by Expertise- en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart (EICB).

According to Cees Boon, who works as an adviser at the Port Authority and is an expert when it comes to the introduction of new shipping fuels, hydrogen has excellent prospects of replacing diesel oil in the longer term as a transport fuel for inland shipping.