To bring its second zero-emission inland container ship to European waterways, Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has joined the European innovation project Flagships.
By joining, FPS aims to strengthen the consortium and expand its green hydrogen-fueled fleet by bringing the FPS Waal vessel into the project. With operations between FPS and Flagships expected to begin this year, the duo state that the vessel will be utilizing green hydrogen by summer in 2023.
To raise awareness for zero-emission marine transportation, over the next few years Flagships will deploy a pair of commercially operated hydrogen vessels. To achieve this, FPS will work with fuel cell technology company Ballard Europe, designer LMG Marin and project coordinator VTT.
“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise,” said Jyrki Mikkola, Flagships project coordinator, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. “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.”
Collaboratively, the partners will complete the vessel’s engineering, fuel cell provision and safety studies required for the vessel to gain approval.
Future Proof Shipping aims to retrofit the FPS Waal and enable it to sail with zero emissions by replacing the internal combustion engine with PEM fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs and an electric drive train. Following the retrofit, the FPS Waal will have approximately 1,200kW of power.
The vessel’s power capacity and the size and design of the propulsion system will be optimized to handle the higher energy consumption rates on the vessel’s route between Rotterdam and Duisburg.
“We are deploying our second zero-emissions vessel here to help decarbonize this busy stretch of 240km inland waterway. This route is longer and has significantly higher and varying power demands,” said Richard Klatten, CEO, Future Proof Shipping.
“Inland waterways are important for freight transport in Europe and therefore I am pleased to see a high-power container vessel being converted to zero-emission,” added Bart Biebuyck, executive director, Clean Hydrogen Partnership.
“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.”