US$125m electric container vessels to connect Netherlands and Belgium

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Dutch company Port-Liner has told The Loadstar that it is building two all-electric inland barges worth approximately US$125m. Set for operation this autumn, the vessels will sail via inland waterways between the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Vossenberg West in Tilburg, Belgium. Each of the container ships, which measure 100 x 11.4m (328 x 37.4ft), can carry up to 270 containers and operate for a period of approximately 34 hours thanks to a battery pack stored in a container that can either be swapped or charged at a terminal. “This allows us to retrofit barges already in operation, which is a big boost for the industry’s green energy credentials,” Port-Liner chief executive Ton van Meegen told The Loadstar. “The containers are charged onshore by carbon-free energy provider Eneco, which sources solar power, windmills and renewables.” Port-Liner intends to build a total of 15 electric-powered cargo ships of different sizes over the next few years, with the first six barges expected to remove 23,000 trucks from the roads annually in the Netherlands. “There are some 7,300 inland vessels across Europe and more than 5,000 of those are owned by entrepreneurs in Belgium and the Netherlands,” said van Meegen. “We can build upwards of 500 a year, but at that rate it would take some 50 years to get the industry operating on green energy.”

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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