The first inland container ship powered by hydrogen, named H2 Barge 1, has been officially commissioned in Rotterdam. The ship, converted by Holland Shipyards Group over a five-year period, will transport containers between Rotterdam and Antwerp for Nike EMEA several times a week and is expected to save 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The retrofitting was carried out using a risk-based approach as there was no comprehensive regulatory framework, with the project supported by grants from the Interreg program for the North Sea region, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Lloyd’s Register provided the classification. The conversion involved replacing the combustion technology with hydrogen, including removing the main engine and gearbox and installing a new modular drive system consisting of electric motors, compressed hydrogen tanks, a PEM fuel cell to convert the hydrogen into electricity, and a battery storage system.
The new system has a capacity for 900 kg of sustainably produced hydrogen stored in two 40-foot containers above the fuel cell system. The H2 Barge 1 is fitted with an 800kW electric motor powered by a 750VDC bus, fed by three fuel cells with a maximum output of 300 kW each and 1037 kWh lithium-ion batteries. The engine room and bow thruster were remodeled to accommodate electrical switchboards and battery rooms, while the three fuel cell areas were erected in the cargo area. Future Proof Shipping is aiming to set up and operate a fleet of ten emission-free inland and short-sea vessels over the next five years.
The project was supported by the Interreg program for the North Sea region, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Port of Rotterdam, and the Expertis-en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart to explore the shipping retrofit potential and demonstrate. Holland Shipyards Group is in the process of converting Future Proof Shipping’s second barge, with long lead components such as fuel cells and batteries ordered as the steel is cut for the new engineering room. The second ship will have a fuel cell with an output of 1.2 MW and an innovative cooling and ventilation system installed. Richard Klatten, CEO of Future Proof Shipping, said during the commissioning ceremony that the project proved “moving cargo with zero emissions and zero impact is possible,” and hoped it would inspire the industry to follow in Nike’s footsteps and go zero.
Tags: H2 Barge 1,Hydrogen,Container,Barge,Rotterdam,Futureproof,Nike
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