Power & PropulsionHydrogenNew zero-emission hydrogen-powered cargo vessel ready for operation on the Rhine

New zero-emission hydrogen-powered cargo vessel ready for operation on the Rhine

Future Proof Shipping (FPS), the EU-funded Flagships project, and the Interreg-funded ZEM Ports NS project launch the groundbreaking H2 Barge 2. The hydrogen-powered vessel will ship goods completely emission-free on the Rhine between Rotterdam (NL) and Duisburg (DE).

Future Proof Shipping, the Flagships project, and ZEM Ports NS project gathered key stakeholders to celebrate the successful launch of the H2 Barge 2 at Holland Shipyard Group´s Werkendam facility, just outside Rotterdam.

This is another proud moment for us, it proves moving cargo with zero emissions and zero impact is not only possible, it’s scalable too. Successfully launching our second hydrogen-powered inland cargo vessel is just as important an achievement as the first, not just for Future Proof Shipping, ZEM Ports NS, and the Flagships project, but for the future of green shipping. This vessel now sets the standard for inland shipping and beyond,” says the CEO of Future Proof Shipping, Richard Klatten.

Successful retrofit

The H2 Barge 2 is the first of two demonstrators in the EU-funded Flagships project, and the second demonstrator of the ZEM Ports NS project. The vessel, formerly Fenny 1 and FPS Waal, was built as a conventionally powered containership.

During 2023, H2 Barge 2 was stripped of all combustion engines and fossil fuel tanks at Holland Shipyards Group (HSG) in Werkendam. Now, the vessel has a completely new 100% emission-free propulsion system including PEM fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs and an electric drive train installed below deck. Six fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems raise the total power installed to 1,2 MW.

Inland waterways are important for freight transport in Europe, we are thrilled to see a high-power container vessel being converted to zero-emission. The H2 Barge 2 will bring knowledge on how to retrofit vessels from diesel combustion to zero-emission alternatives, by using batteries in combination with green hydrogen in a fuel cell. I am proud to see that our funding contributes to the decarbonization of freight transport in the European Union,” says Mirela Atanasiu, Executive Director ad interim of Clean Hydrogen Partnership.

H2 Barge 2 is expected to reduce 3.000 tonnes of CO2 annually when sailing the Rhine. With 80% of all cargo flows on the Rhine sailing between Rotterdam and Duisburg, H2 Barge 2 proves that much of the fleet can be fully zero emission already today.

Global importance

This project proves collaboration across borders and companies is key to making the green shift in shipping happen. Getting new hydrogen vessels into operation is important if we are to speed up the green maritime transition. Together, we´re building new future fuel value chains crucial to meeting fast-approaching climate goals,” says the CEO of Maritime CleanTech, Ada Jakobsen.

The second demonstrator vessel in the Flagships project, Zulu 06, will be deployed in Paris in 2024.

We´ve been working hard for several years to get to this point. Having the first demonstrator on the Rhine is truly a great achievement by Future Proof Shipping and the rest of the partners. The aim of the Flagships project is to take zero-emission waterborne transport to an entirely new level. Now we´re one important step closer to reaching our goal,” says Flagships Project Coordinator and Senior Scientist at VTT, Jyrki Mikkola.

This pivotal moment is shared by the FPS team, Holland Shipyards Group (HSG), Ballard Power Systems, and partners and supporters at the Port of Rotterdam, Expertise- en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart (EICB), Zero Emissions Ship Technology Association (ZESTAs), WaterborneTP, NSHyMap, RH2INE and Maritime CleanTech.

This project was made possible with funding support from the Interreg North Sea Region Programme (Zero Emission Ports North Sea – ZEM Ports NS), Flagships H2020 Project (Clean Hydrogen Partnership), and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

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