Wärtsilä has joined the Zero Emission Services (ZES) consortium to make inland waterway shipping more sustainable.
Inland shipping produces 5% of Dutch transport emissions and the consortium wants to replace diesel-fueled propulsion with electric power.
The plan is to use replaceable battery containers known as ZESPacks, which are charged using energy from renewable sources. A network of open access charging points will be set up to exchange battery containers for fully charged replacements.
Initially batteries will be used, but should hydrogen become a viable alternative, containers equipped with hydrogen technology could be an option instead.
Wärtsilä’s co-founders in ZES are ING Bank, energy and technical service provider Engie and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. It has the support of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
The project will be used on the Zoeterwoude–Alpherium–Moerdijk corridor then expanded to the Amsterdam–Rotterdam–Antwerp corridor with a connection to Nijmegen.
Dutch brewing company Heineken has signed up to ZES to use the service to transport beer from its brewery in Zoeterwoude to Moerdijk.