EU Green-Lights Grant for Hydrogen Project in Inland Shipping

File image courtesy Port of Rotterdam

Published Jul 24, 2020 1:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

Hydrogen-powered inland vessels along the freight corridor between Rotterdam and Genoa are set to become a reality soon with the European Commission sanctioning about $600,000 in funding for research to the RHZINE (Rhine Hydrogen Integration Network of Excellence) partnership. The Port of Rotterdam is among the members of this partnership.

The research application was jointly submitted by the Province of Zuid-Holland, the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the ports of Rotterdam and Duisburg and RheinCargo. The partners will also be contributing $600,000 to the research budget. 

The European grant will be used to fund research into which hydrogen refuelling stations are best suited for this purpose, hydrogen technology and which legislation will be required in the various countries and locations to allow inland vessels to switch to hydrogen.

The target is to have at least 10 vessels running on hydrogen along the Rhine-Alpine Corridor, the main freight route between the port of Rotterdam and Cologne, by 2024. This requires three hydrogen refuelling stations along the way. 

In a second phase, the number of refuelling stations will be expanded so that hydrogen-powered freight vessels can continue to Genoa. To facilitate the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel, twenty parties have joined forces in the RH2INE alliance.

The network members also intend to learn from each other via RH2INE. They will achieve this by exchanging knowledge regarding the use of hydrogen in inland shipping. Each of these parties plays a role in a future hydrogen economy, from production to distribution to its utilisation in shipping.

The Port of Rotterdam has also formed a partnership with a consortium of truck manufacturers, trucking companies and gas suppliers to put 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks on the road by 2025.