Zero-Emission Hydrogen-Powered Vessel to Transport Goods on the Rhine

February 20, 2024by CN_MAR

Dutch shipowner Future Proof Shipping (FPS), alongside the EU-funded Flagships project and the Interreg-funded ZEM Ports NS project, have recently launched the H2 Barge 2, a groundbreaking hydrogen-powered vessel. This vessel is set to navigate the Rhine, transporting goods emission-free between Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Duisburg, Germany.

Originally named Fenny 1 and later FPS Waal, this vessel underwent a significant transformation at Holland Shipyards Group (HSG) in Werkendam during 2023. It was converted from a conventional containership by removing all combustion engines and fossil fuel tanks. In their place, a state-of-the-art 100% emission-free propulsion system was installed. This system features PEM fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs, and an electric drive train, all situated below deck. Powering this innovative system are six fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems, which collectively contribute to a total installed power of 1.2 MW.

The H2 Barge 2 represents a pivotal step in the Flagships project, being the first of two demonstrator vessels, and also serves as the second demonstrator for the ZEM Ports NS project. Its operation is a leap towards sustainability, with an expected reduction of 3,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually while traversing the Rhine.

Richard Klatten, CEO of Future Proof Shipping, expressed enthusiasm over this achievement, highlighting the scalability and potential of zero-emission cargo transport. The launch of their second hydrogen-powered inland cargo vessel is seen as a milestone not only for the involved projects and Future Proof Shipping but also for the broader ambition of achieving green shipping.

Mirela Atanasiu, Executive Director ad interim of the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, emphasized the importance of inland waterways for European freight transport and celebrated the conversion of a high-power container vessel to zero-emission technology. She praised the project for advancing the decarbonization of freight transport within the European Union.

Ada Jakobsen, CEO of Maritime CleanTech, pointed out the critical role of cross-border collaboration and industry partnership in accelerating the maritime sector’s transition to green energy. She noted the significance of integrating new hydrogen vessels into operations to meet climate goals swiftly.

It is also noted that the Flagships project is preparing to launch a second demonstrator vessel, Zulu 06, in Paris by 2024.

Furthermore, the H2 Barge 1, the first hydrogen-powered zero-emissions inland container ship launched by Future Proof Shipping, set sail in Rotterdam at the beginning of 2023, marking the start of this ambitious journey towards cleaner maritime transport.


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