Dutch Port of Amsterdam has become a partner in the European project H2SHIPS which will focus on the introduction of hydrogen as a marine fuel.
As explained, the Interreg North-West Europe project will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping, identifying the conditions for successful market entry for technology.
Two pilot projects will be implemented as part of H2SHIPS — new hydrogen-powered port vessel will be built in Amsterdam. In addition, an H2 refueling system suitable for open sea operation will be developed and tested in Belgium.
Another major output will be an action plan for the implementation of an H2SHIPS pilot on the river Seine in Paris in 2022. Further project outputs will include a blueprint for the uptake of a new hydrogen-based transport system in North-West Europe, the creation of an H2 value chain designed to support public authorities, shipbuilders and operators in the implementation of H2 products and services.
A key objective is to provide knowledge in a way which can be transferred easily to other regions with emphasis on how the different measures can be scaled up, so they can be replicated comprehensively.
The project, which will receive almost EUR 3.5 million (USD 3.9 million) co-funding from the Interreg North-West Europe Programme, will run for three years ending in July 2022. By then, a port vessel will be converted to hydrogen and be fully operational, saving considerable CO2 emissions.
By 2032, a total of 58 hydrogen-powered boats are expected for the project region.
Apart from the Port of Amsterdam, twelve other partners from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands will be involved in the project, including the Autonomous Port of Paris.
Hydrogen propulsion technologies are nearing market maturity, while still being too expensive to compete with fossil fuel-based alternatives. However, their advantages over conventional combustion engines are considerable. For example, hydrogen can be converted into mechanical or electrical energy completely free of any emission. Additionally, hydrogen propulsion system operates silently and requires less maintenance.