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Subsidy granted for first hydrogen-powered cargo ship
(Posted on 11/03/21)
Dutch Minister of transport Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen has visited Rotterdam to grant 4 million euros for the first hydrogen-powered cargo ship of Lenten Scheepvaart, a member of the inland shipping cooperative NPRC. This subsidy is an important step in the realization of this ship, which will be part of a salt transport shuttle for the multinational chemical company Nobian (a Nouryon company) between Delfzijl and Rotterdam. Furthermore, this grant helps the inland navigation transport sector in becoming more sustainable and is a big step in the implementation of the Green Deal. The ship is scheduled to enter service in 2023 and will run on green hydrogen.
This supply chain project is an important contribution to a system change towards emission-free transport over water and the reduction of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. The newly built ship is expected to transport 250,000 tons of salt per year within the Netherlands and will be propelled by an electric drive with a hydrogen fuel cell providing the power. The motor vessel Antonie will therefore be the first newly built hydrogen-powered dry bulk barge in the world. Nobian and NPRC are also partners in the Rh2ine project, for the development of a hydrogen infrastructure for the salt transport fleet in ports and charging stations along the Rhine.
NPRC is a front runner in sustainable transportation. With 135 members, the cooperative generates revenue of 90 million per year. Every day, approximately 200 vessels are in operation for NPRC, transporting 12 million tons of dry bulk cargo, containers and break-bulk cargo on European inland waterways. This makes NPRC the largest Dutch provider of inland waterway transportation and the third largest provider in Europe.
NPRC CEO Femke Brenninkmeijer is very pleased with the Minister's decision. "The success of this project is the cooperation. Between shipper, barge owner, cooperative and the government. Only with the support of all stakeholders is it possible to move from dreams to reality, from words to deeds, towards zero-emission transport over water. The strength of our cooperative lies in long-term cooperation between supply chain partners in the field of logistics and sustainability, which can now be seen in concrete results in terms of zero-emission and digitalization of the supply chain. The NPRC is the frontrunner of this development."
The use of hydrogen in inland navigation is still in its infancy. There are already examples of ships that run on hydrogen, but these are existing ships that have been converted to run on hydrogen. Developing a new vessel that runs on hydrogen, gives the opportunity to optimize the design. With the practical experience gained in this pilot project, more ships can be fitted with a fuel cell in the future. Additionally, this pilot project makes it possible to experiment with production, storage and transport of hydrogen applications. The gained knowledge will further help to accelerate the transition from gas oil driven engines to clean propulsion of inland vessels. Lenten Scheepvaart is building a completely new 135-meter, 3,700-ton inland navigation vessel that will be propelled by a hydrogen-electric fuel cell.
Inland waterway shipping makes an important contribution to the modal shift of goods transport
from road to water and the reduction of emissions. The Dutch government, the Dutch provinces,
ports, maritime industry associations, shippers, shipping agents, banks and research institutions
have joined forces in 2019 with the 'Green Deal Maritime Shipping, Inland Waterway Shipping and
Ports' to make shipping more sustainable.
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