Future Proof Shipping launches 1st hydrogen-powered inland containership

Dutch shipping company Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has launched the first hydrogen-powered zero-emissions inland container ship, H2 Barge 1, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Image credit FPS

The official launch of H2 Barge 1 took place in Rotterdam on 25 May.

Future Proof Shipping’s zero-emissions 110m x 11.45m inland containership, H2 Barge 1 is chartered by BCTN on behalf of Nike EMEA. The vessel, expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,000 tonnes of CO2e per year, will sail between Rotterdam and BCTN’s inland terminal in Meerhout several times a week.

As part of its zero carbon and zero waste strategy, Nike is partnering with FPS and BCTN Network of Inland Terminals, to accelerate zero-emission shipping.

“It’s my pleasure to present the very first A-Zero emission label to H2 Barge 1, as it is the first vessel to truly qualify as zero emission. An achievement worth applauding. I hope this achievement by Future Proof Shipping will persuade other shipowners to make the transition to emission free transport too, and that many more A-Zero emission labels will be handed out in the future,” Minister of Infrastructure & Water Management in the Netherlands, Mark Harbers, said.

Also present to celebrate this collective achievement, were the FPS team and various partner representatives from Air Liquide, BCTN Network of Inland Terminals, Holland Shipyards Group, Koedood Marine Group, Kooiman Marine Group, Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology, Rabobank, and Nike.

“This shipping project proves that moving cargo with zero-emission and zero impact is possible, and we hope it accelerates the industry to follow in Nike’s footsteps and move to zero. I would like to thank our dedicated FPS team, our founder Huib van de Grijspaarde for his unwavering belief in us and the project and all our trusted partners for enabling us to see it through. This is a pivotal moment, not just for Future Proof Shipping but for the future of shipping,” said Richard Klatten, CEO – Future Proof Shipping.

“Nike’s ultimate goal is to create a zero carbon, zero waste future. We’ve been on this journey for decades, and we’re setting even bolder goals for the future. The H2 Barge 1 is an important example of how we are investing in sustainable progress across logistics and transportation to protect the environment for future generations,” Eb Mukhtar, Vice President Operations & Logistics – Nike EMEA, commented.

The vessel was retrofitted by Holland Shipyards under a contract won back in 2021.

The conversion entailed the installation of the hydrogen and fuel cell system, with 825 kW capacity (to supply propulsion and auxiliary power) and a 504 kWh lithium-ion battery pack for peak shaving, secondary and bridging power. The system contains a 750V DC bus bar and an e-motor for propulsion.

The FPS Maas/H2 Barge 1 retrofit project is supported by grant funding from the Interreg North Sea Region Programme (Zero Emission Ports North Sea – ZEM Ports NS), Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Port of Rotterdam and Expertise- en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart.

Future Proof Shipping plans to retrofit two more container vessels with zero-emissions hydrogen propulsion system.

Dutch shipbuilder Holland Shipyards Group has already started working on the second hydrogen-driven vessel retrofit for FPS.

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