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Dutch player joins Flagships with another hydrogen-powered inland boxship – Splash247

Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has joined European innovation project Flagships to bring the Rotterdam-based shipping company’s second zero-emissions inland containership to Europe’s waterways by summer 2023.

FPS will expand the Flagships green hydrogen-fuelled fleet with the addition of the FPS Waal which will operate on the route between Rotterdam and Duisburg on the Rhine. “The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise. With FPS joining us, we have two groundbreaking vessels as part of the Flagships project,” said Jyrki Mikkola, Flagships project coordinator.

With plans to build and operate a fleet of 10 zero-emission inland and short-sea vessels over the next five years, FPS will over the coming months work with fuel cell technology experts Ballard Europe, ship design company LMG Marin, and project coordinators VTT to complete the engineering, fuel cell provision, and safety studies required for the vessel’s approval by applying and further developing the existing regulatory guidelines. 

The power capacity, size and design of the propulsion system for the FPS Waal will need to be optimised to handle the higher energy consumption rates on the Rotterdam to Duisburg section, FPS noted. During the retrofit, the internal combustion engine will be removed, and the new zero-emissions propulsion system, including PEM fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs and an electric drive train, will be installed. The total amount of power installed will be around 1.2 MW and the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 200 teu after the retrofit.

“We are deploying our second zero-emissions vessel here to help decarbonise this busy stretch of 240 km inland waterway. This route is longer and has significantly higher and varying power demands than the route for the FPS Maas, pushing this project team to elevate their innovation efforts considerably. These are new challenges that we are ready to take on together with the Flagships team to blaze a new trail towards zero-emissions inland shipping for all.” Richard Klatten, CEO of Future Proof Shipping.

“The FPS Waal conversion will bring knowledge on how to retrofit vessels from diesel combustion to zero-emission alternatives by using battery in combination with green hydrogen in a fuel cell. A key aspect is the replicability of this zero-emission retrofit to similar vessels,” added Bart Biebuyck, executive director of Clean Hydrogen Partnership.

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