H2 Barge 2 Sets Sail: Pioneering Hydrogen-Powered Cargo Transport on the Rhine

Future Proof Shipping (FPS), alongside the EU-funded Flagships project and the Interreg-funded ZEM Ports NS project, has proudly announced the launch of H2 Barge 2, a revolutionary hydrogen-powered vessel. This vessel is set to navigate the Rhine, transporting goods emission-free between Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Duisburg, Germany, marking a significant milestone in sustainable maritime logistics.

The celebration of H2 Barge 2’s launch took place at the Holland Shipyard Group´s Werkendam facility, near Rotterdam, bringing together key stakeholders to commemorate this leap towards green shipping.

Richard Klatten, CEO of Future Proof Shipping, emphasized the significance of this launch, “This marks not just a milestone for us but heralds a new era for the shipping industry at large. By successfully launching our second hydrogen-powered inland cargo vessel, we demonstrate the scalability and viability of zero-emission transport on waterways.”

The transformation of H2 Barge 2 into a zero-emission vessel involved stripping the former Fenny 1 and FPS Waal of all combustion engines and fossil fuel systems. The ship now boasts a state-of-the-art, 100% emission-free propulsion system, including Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs, and an electric drive train, all installed below deck. Six fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems elevate the total installed power to 1.2 MW, showcasing the vessel’s robust green propulsion capabilities.

Mirela Atanasiu, Executive Director ad interim of Clean Hydrogen Partnership, highlighted the project’s contribution to the European Union’s decarbonization efforts, “The H2 Barge 2 project exemplifies how innovation in green hydrogen can transform inland waterway transport, a critical component of our freight network, towards zero emissions.”

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Anticipated to cut 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, H2 Barge 2 represents a practical solution for a significant portion of cargo flows on the Rhine, proving that a substantial transition to zero-emission vessels is feasible today.

Ada Jakobsen, CEO of Maritime CleanTech, underscored the global relevance of such initiatives, “This collaborative effort is a testament to what can be achieved when industry leaders unite for sustainability, propelling us towards our climate goals with each green voyage.”

With the deployment of the second demonstrator vessel, Zulu 06, in Paris planned for 2024, the Flagships project continues to push the boundaries of zero-emission waterborne transport.

Jyrki Mikkola, Flagships Project Coordinator and Senior Scientist at VTT, expressed his excitement about the progress, “Reaching this milestone with H2 Barge 2 on the Rhine is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Future Proof Shipping and all project partners. We’re closer to transforming maritime transport into a completely sustainable sector.”

The FPS team, along with Holland Shipyards Group, Ballard Power Systems, and numerous partners and supporters, including the Port of Rotterdam and Maritime CleanTech, celebrate this achievement. The project was made possible through funding from the Interreg North Sea Region Programme, the Flagships H2020 Project, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

As Future Proof Shipping advances its mission to offer zero-emission shipping services and support the maritime industry’s shift towards sustainability, H2 Barge 2’s deployment is a beacon of progress, demonstrating the tangible benefits and feasibility of hydrogen-powered transport on the world’s waterways.

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