H2Ships: First look at hydrogen-powered vessel

H2Ships: First look at hydrogen-powered vessel

This is the first look at the new hydrogen-powered port vessel being built in Amsterdam as part of a pilot project aiming to foster the creation of a hydrogen supply chain for water transport.

Based in the North West Europe area, the H2SHIPS project will also develop and test a hydrogen refuelling system suitable for open sea operation in Belgium.

A further major output will be an action plan for the implementation of a H2SHIPS pilot on the River Seine in Paris in 2022.

The image above from the Port of Amsterdam shows the first artist impressions of the new zero emission hydrogen-powered ship.

H2SHIPS will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping and will identify the conditions for successful market entry for the technology.

The project 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.


The objective of this pilot is to demonstrate the feasibility of operating an inland port vessel with hydrogen as a fuel.

The 20-meter-long vessel will operate both in urban areas (Amsterdam’s canals) as well as in the seaport area between Amsterdam and IJmuiden.

The vessel will be completely emission-free and silent, operating with a battery and a fuel cell.

Sodiumborohydrid will be used as hydrogen carrier, a powder (to be) diluted in water, which should guarantee a safe storage with a high flame point.

The operational sailing experience with this innovative hydrogen storage should enable a quick implementation of this technology on board of other ship types, like inland vessels.

The Port of Amsterdam will lead the pilot. It will contract the equipment, build the ship and operate it in the Amsterdam port area.

Tata Steel will bring its expertise as a supply chain operator to this project; University of Birmingham will provide technical and engineering assistance for the adaptation of the propulsion system and carry out assessment studies; and TU Delft provides and coordinates the body of knowledge for system components, hydrogen generation implementation and the integration and testing of the system on shore and on board.

TU Delft will furthermore facilitate the transfer of the demonstrator technology and design towards a separate inland cargo vessel demonstrator, chartered by TATA Steel and operated by PTC, owner of the ship.

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