Germany: 1st emission-free hybrid push boat christened in Berlin

Germany’s emission-free hydrogen-fueled push boat Elektra has been christened earlier this week, allowing the testing of the vessel to begin.

Courtesy of Port of Hamburg

On 16 May, the Governing Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey christened Elektra in Berlin’s Westhafen after two years of construction at the Hermann Barthel GmbH shipyard in Derben and the transfer to Berlin’s largest inland port.

Courtesy of Port of Hamburg

Said to be the world’s first push boat that combines battery-electric propulsion with hydrogen and fuel cell technology, Elektra represents a flagship project, said Federal Minister Volker Wissing in the opening speech.

The minister added that the entire project is a blueprint for climate and environmentally friendly inland shipping.

To remind, the project consortium comprising Behala, Herrmann Barthel shipyard, Ballard Power Systems, Anleg, Rostock, Imperial logistics, EST-Floattech and TU Berlin, has been working on the development of an emission-free hybrid/electrically driven experimental vehicle for use in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

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The basis of the newly developed hybrid system is the battery package, consisting of 242 DNV-GL approved GO1050 modules with a total capacity of 2.5MWh, delivered by EST-Floattech, as well as three maritime fuel cell systems, NT-PEMFC, 100kW peak power each.

In Berlin’s Westhafen and in the port of Lüneburg, the first shore stations for the hydrogen tanks and the charging current in the required power class of 500 kilowatts will go into operation in 2023.

A supply contract was also signed with the Industrial and Commercial Park Mittelelbe / H2 Green Power & Logistics for the filling and transport of the tank systems (Multiple Energy Gas Container – MEGC) with green hydrogen until the end of the project duration at the end of 2024.

The €13 million Elektra project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with approximately €8 million and is coordinated by Project Management Jülich (PTJ) and the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).

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