Rotterdam-based Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has joined Flagships, a consortium aiming to advance zero-emission inland waterway shipping. FPS plans to commit to the project the 110m-long inland waterway container ship, FPS Waal, which will be converted and commissioned in summer 2023. The vessel will join the emissions-free FPS Maas, already in service but on shorter voyages with lower power demands.
FPS will work closely on conversion and regulatory approval of the FPS Waal with fuel cell specialist, Ballard Europe, ship design company LMG Marin, and Finland’s VTT, a state-owned maritime research firm. The partners will apply and further develop existing regulatory guidelines, Flagships said.
The vessel will undergo a conversion to replace its existing internal combustion engine with a zero-emissions propulsion system comprising proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs, and an electric drive train. After the conversion, the FPS Waal will have installed power of about 1.2MW, a cargo capacity of 200TEU, and will be deployed on the 240km-long stretch of the River Rhine between Rotterdam and Duisburg.
Project coordinator, Jyrki Mikkola, based at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, said: “The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise. With FPS joining us, we have two groundbreaking vessels part of the Flagships project. We aim to raise the readiness of zero-emission waterborne transport in Europe, this truly brings us closer to reaching our goal.”
Emission-free inland waterway shipments take another step forward