FPS embarks on retrofitting of cargo vessel with hydrogen propulsion

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Netherlands-based Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has formalized an agreement with Holland Shipyards Group (HSG) to embark on the retrofitting of the inland vessel Maas with a zero-emission hydrogen propulsion system.

Having completed months of energy profiling, FPS says that the 110 x 11.45m inland container vessel will be retrofitted at Holland’s yard in Hardinxveld throughout Q3 2021 and is expected to be sailing on 100% hydrogen power by December of this year.

The current main engine and gearbox will be removed and replaced by a new modular propulsion system consisting of electric motors, hydrogen tanks, a PEM fuel cell system and a battery system. The compressed-hydrogen tanks, the fuel cells and the battery system are separate units that can be removed for maintenance or replacement.

The hydrogen and fuel cell system will be installed in the cargo space of the vessel, with the hydrogen placed above the fuel cell system in two 12m containers (approximately 1,000kg at 300 bar). The fuel cell system will be triple redundant, with 825kW capacity (to supply propulsion and auxiliary power) and a 504kWh lithium-ion battery pack for peak shaving, secondary and bridging power.

“FPS is excited to be working together with HSG on the retrofitting of the Maas to run entirely on hydrogen. This futureproof ship will truly be a zero-emission vessel, a vessel to forge the way to a greener and more sustainable inland shipping industry,” commented Richard Klatten, CEO, Future Proof Shipping.

Once back in service, the Maas will continue to ship container cargo between Rotterdam and Antwerp and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2000CO2 e tons annually.  The project is supported by funding from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Subsidie Duurzaam Scheepvaart scheme), Interreg North Sea Program (via the ZEM Ports NS project), and a stimulation scheme for sustainable inland shipping from the Port of Rotterdam, which is executed by the Expertise en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart (EICB).

“Over the past few years, Holland Shipyards Group has gained profound experience in building vessels with sustainable propulsion methods. It has led to battery technology becoming increasingly standard in our projects,” concluded Leendert Hoogendoorn, director at Holland Shipyards Group.

“As we are always investigating renewable sources, logically the next step is to extend our experience with propulsion methods suitable for (much) larger operational envelopes. Retrofitting a vessel to run on a hydrogen propulsion system fits perfectly within our ambition to work on a greener and more sustainable shipping industry. Holland Shipyards Group is trustworthy in taking a step forward in more complex energy systems with Future Proof Shipping, sharing the same green ambition.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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