Photo: FPS

Future Proof Shipping’s retrofitted vessel cleared to sail on hydrogen

Dutch marine transportation service provider Future Proof Shipping has received a recommendation from Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) for its inland vessel Mass to use hydrogen as a fuel for propulsion.

As disclosed, the CCNR has recommended that the vessel receives an exemption from the Rhine Vessel Inspection Regulations (RVIR).

Furthermore, the recommendation states that the use of hydrogen as a fuel on board the Maas is considered to be sufficiently safe if a number of critical conditions such as risk assessments, crew training, bunkering and data recording, are met at all times.

“This landmark exemption will hopefully act as a catalyst to speed up the approval process and establish concrete rules dedicated to hydrogen fuelled vessels, and ultimately clear the path to zero-emission shipping for all who are prepared to make the transition,” Richard Klatten, CEO – Future Proof Shipping commented.

Having completed a detailed Hazard Identification (HAZID) study with their classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR), the CCNR recommendation was the next target on FPS’s radar. 

Rules for the design approval

In the absence of specific rules for the design approval of hydrogen fuelled vessels, the “alternative design process” is currently the only means of approval for hydrogen vessels, according to the statement.

This means that the safety, reliability and dependability of the systems must be demonstrated to be equivalent to that achieved with comparable conventional systems.

The FPS team has been working closely with Lloyd’s Register and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure who filed the application for the recommendation with the CCNR, on behalf of FPS.

To receive this recommendation, first a risk analysis and design optimisation study must be completed, with the help of a classification society, FPS states.

“The development of techniques for alternative means of propulsion and energy carriers, such as hydrogen and batteries, fits within the ambitions in the Green Deal on Maritime and Inland Shipping and Ports to make inland shipping more sustainable,” Annelies van Dijk-Volker, Ministry of Infrastructure & Watermanagement – Dutch Representative in CCNR stated.

“I believe this recommendation will surely help in the further development of requirements for the use of alternative fuels, and I expect that for future projects it will be easier to get the required recommendations.” Bas Joormann, WEA Inland Waterway Product Manager – Lloyd’s Register EMEA added.

In March 2021, FPS agreed to retrofit its inland vessel, Maas, to a zero-emissions hydrogen propulsion system at Holland Shipyards.

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Post retrofit, the Maas will transport shipping container cargo between Rotterdam and an inland terminal near Antwerp.

The company expects the vessel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2000 CO2 emission tonnes annually.