First H2 inland waterway vessel

Concordia Damen and Lenten Scheepvaart signing the contract for the world’s first PEM inland waterway vessel Photo: Concordia Damen Concordia Damen and Lenten Scheepvaart signing the contract for the world’s first PEM inland waterway vessel Photo: Concordia Damen
Industry Database

Concordia Damen has signed a historic contract with Lenten Scheepvaart to build the first inland waterway vessel to run on hydrogen.

Weighing 3,700 tonnes the 135m MV Antonie will be powered by a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell supplied by NEDSTACK. Scheduled for delivery in three years, she will be used by chemical supplier Nouryon to transport salt between Delfzijl in the north of the Netherlands to Botlek in the Port of Rotterdam.

Concordia Damen chief executive, Chris Kornet, said that increasing sustainability in shipping was a passion for the company. “I believe there will not be one single way to reduce emissions in our sector, but a number of approaches,” he said.

“Hydrogen is likely to play an important role in the achievement of zero emissions in inland shipping,” he added.

Adopting a compressed hydrogen fuel system reduces the potential range of the vessel compared with liquefied systems, but sidesteps technological, safety and regulatory challenges around cryogenic containment and bunkering infrastructure. The technology is being trialled through an Interreg North-West Europe project H2SHIPS and there are plans to use PEM to power a Nordic RoPax ferry.

Lenten Scheepvaart has received a €4m subsidy for the construction of the vessel from the Netherlands governmental department of Infrastructure and Water Management which is aiming to stimulate the development the use of hydrogen as a fuel for inland shipping.

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