The first inland cargo vessel running on a swappable battery system for zero emission operations is set to launch in the Netherlands in spring 2024. The 295-foot vessel Den Bosch Max Groen, owned by Nedcargo and operated in partnership with BCTN, is undergoing a conversion at the Concordia Damen shipyard to replace its diesel motor with the new battery system. The batteries, known as ZESpacks, will be self-contained and swapped out as the vessel sails, with charging stations provided by Zero Emission Services (ZES).
The Netherlands’ National Growth Fund is providing €50 million for the development of the infrastructure, including charging stations at various terminals, with I&W Greendeal also assisting with subsidies for the ship conversion. The vessel operates between Rotterdam and Den Bosch, primarily carrying containers and cargo for Heineken, and the conversion to the battery system is expected to reduce emissions by approximately 715 tonnes of CO2 and 13 tonnes of NOx annually. ZES reports that the new version of the system provides more power and a better power connection, and plans to convert a total of five inland cargo vessels to the battery power system.
Overall, this initiative represents a significant step in the decarbonization efforts of Europe’s inland shipping industry, with the potential to make a substantial impact on reducing emissions from cargo transportation.