The ship was developed by the Dutch company Future Proof Shipping (FPS), in collaboration with Nike. From the beginning of June, the sports brand will transport loads between the port of Rotterdam and Meerhout, Belgium, where Nike has a distribution center, several times a week.
The container ship, called H2 Barge 1, made its first official voyage in the presence of the press on Thursday, from Alblasserdam to the center of Rotterdam. There is room for 208 sea containers in the hold.
The total investment in the ship and the conversion is approximately 6 million euros. The project received a subsidy from, among others, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. FPS is working on the conversion of several inland vessels and hopes to be able to lower the price through an increase in scale. The aim is to make 25 inland vessels greener in the coming years.
The tanks can contain 800 kilograms of green hydrogen, on which the H2 Barge 1 can cover a distance of just under 250 kilometres. ‘Refuelling’ is done by lifting the two containers with empty hydrogen tanks off board and replacing them with new, full tanks.
4 percent of CO2emissions
On an annual basis, the H2 Barge 1 saves an estimated two thousand tons of CO2 out. According to Statistics Netherlands, Dutch shipping annually emits more than 4 percent of Dutch carbon dioxide. The environment also benefits, because no harmful nitrogen oxides are formed during propulsion and there is no engine noise.
Nike will sail the ship for the next seven years, with another option for a similar period.
On Thursday, Minister Mark Habers of Infrastructure and Water Management handed over the first so-called A-Zero emission label, which means that the vessel is completely emission-free. Habers said he hopes the initiative will persuade other shipowners to make their ships more sustainable as well.