Retrofit specialists Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has formalised its partnership with Holland Shipyards Group (HSG) and will convert inland vessel Maas to run using a zero-emissions hydrogen propulsion system
The 110-m by 11.45-m inland container vessel will be retrofitted at the Holland Shipyards Group’s yard in Hardinxveld throughout Q3 2021and is expected to begin sailing on hydrogen power by December 2021. When service resumes, Maas will continue shipping container cargo between Rotterdam and Antwerp.
The ship’s main engine and gearbox will be removed and replaced with a new modular propulsion system consisting of electric motors, hydrogen tanks, a PEM fuel-cell system (to convert hydrogen into electricity) and a battery system. The compressed hydrogen tanks, the fuel cells and the battery system are separate units that can be removed for maintenance.
The hydrogen and fuel-cell system will be installed in the cargo space of the vessel, with the hydrogen being placed above the fuel-cell system in two 40-ft containers (approximately 1,000 kg at 300 bar).
The fuel-cell system will be triple redundant 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 will contain a 750-V DC bus bar and an e-motor for propulsion.
Future Proof Shipping chief executive Richard Klatten said “FPS is excited to be working together with HSG on retrofitting Maas to run entirely on hydrogen. This future-proof ship will truly be a zero-emissions vessel, a vessel to forge the way for a greener and more sustainable inland shipping industry.” Over the next five years, FPS aims to build and operate a fleet of 10 zero-emissions inland and shortsea vessels which they will offer for charter.
Holland Shipyards Group director Leendert Hoogendoorn said the Group’s focus in recent years has been on building ships running on sustainable propulsion which has led to battery technology becoming more standard in its projects.
“As we are always investigating renewable sources, logically the next step is to extend our experience with propulsion methods suitable for (much) larger operational envelopes. Retrofitting a vessel to run on a hydrogen propulsion system fits perfectly within our ambition to work in a greener and more sustainable shipping industry” he said.
The project is supported by funding from the Dutch RVO (Subsidie Duurzaam Scheepvaart scheme), Interreg North Sea Program (via the ZEM Ports NS project), and a stimulation scheme for sustainable inland shipping from the Port of Rotterdam, executed by the Expertise en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart.
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