Concordia Damen trials hydrogen-powered inland barge

Antonie hydrogen electric cargo ship The Antonie hydrogen electric cargo ship was realized by Concordia Damen.

Lenten Scheepvaart, in the Netherlands, is now the owner of what is described as “the world’s first-ever newbuild hydrogen-powered inland shipping barge.” The Hydrogen Electric Cargo Ship Antonie (WEVA) was realized by Concordia Damen, a designer and builder of inland vessels. Technical sea trials were held October 23, 2023, during which the ship was inspected by Lloyd’s Register and received a provisional certificate to be put into service.

The dry cargo vessel will be used to transport salt for Nobian, a European producer of essential chemicals for various industries. For years, Lenten Scheepvaart has been shipping salt from Delfzijl to the Nobian plant in the Botlek, which turns this salt into chlor-alkali, among other things, with hydrogen as a residual product. The hydrogen produced in the chlor-alkali production process will soon form the clean fuel for the Antonie.

The Antonie will have three hydrogen containers on board, providing enough energy for full zero-emission transport between Delfzijl-Rotterdam-Delfzijl. A hydrogen bunker station has been built in Delfzijl with a subsidy.

With the hydrogen containers not yet installed, during the sea trials, full attention could be given to testing the advanced diesel-electric propulsion system. The hydrogen containers are expected to arrive by the end of the year.

“The fuel cell will soon serve as an energy supplier for the battery packs after the installation of the distribution panel and the placement of the hydrogen containers,” said Bart van Driel, project manager at Concordia Damen. “The fuel cell itself, which converts hydrogen into electricity, has already been installed on board.

“Once the distribution panel is delivered, it is just a matter of sizing and manufacturing the final pieces of piping and adjusting the fuel cell installation itself,” he continued. “The diesel generator will then no longer be used, so the Antonie will sail completely emission-free.”

The WEVA project is a joint effort by Concordia Damen Shipbuilding in collaboration with CCM3, Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology, Nobian, Energy TransStore, NRPC and client Lenten Scheepvaart, among others. It was made possible in part by a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

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