Future Proof Shipping joins green hydrogen project

By Mike Brezonick08 February 2022

FPS Waal Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has joined FLAGSHIPS, a European innovation consortium, to bring the shipping company’s second zero-emissions inland container vessel, the FPS Waal, to Europe’s waterways.

Dutch shipowner Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has joined FLAGSHIPS, a consortium of shipowners, support companies, maritime OEMs, integrators and designers, to bring the shipping company’s second zero-emissions inland container vessel, the FPS Waal, to Europe’s waterways.

FPS will strengthen the FLAGSHIPS consortium and expand its green hydrogen-fueled fleet with the addition of the FPS Waal to the project. Collaborative operations are set to commence this year with the vessel sailing on green hydrogen by summer 2023.

The FLAGSHIPS consortium aims to raise the readiness of zero-emission waterborne transport to an entirely new level by deploying two commercially operated zero-emission hydrogen vessels. Over the coming months, FPS will work closely with fuel cell technology supplier Ballard Europe, ship design company LMG Marin, and project coordinators VTT. Together, they will collaborate across a broad range of activities to complete the engineering, fuel cell provision and safety studies required for the vessel’s approval, by applying and further developing the existing regulatory guidelines.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise,” said Jyrki Mikkola, FLAGSHIPS project coordinator - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. “With FPS joining us, we have two groundbreaking vessels part of the FLAGSHIPS project. We aim to raise the readiness of zero-emission waterborne transport in Europe, this truly brings us closer to reaching our goal.”

The power capacity, size and design of the propulsion system for the FPS Waal will be optimized to handle the higher energy consumption rates on the Rotterdam to Duisburg section of the Rhine. Proof Shipping has already been in discussions with several cargo owners interested in shipping containers without emissions on this route and who are aiming to move a large part of their sea cargo to inland water transportation.

“We are deploying our second zero-emissions vessel here to help decarbonize this busy stretch of 240 km inland waterway,” said Richard Klatten, CEO, Future Proof Shipping. “This route is longer and has significantly higher and varying power demands than the route for the FPS Maas, pushing this project team to elevate their innovation efforts considerably.

“These are new challenges that we are ready to take on together with the FLAGSHIPS team to blaze a new trail towards zero-emissions inland shipping for all.”

Similar to the FPS Maas, Future Proof Shipping aims to retrofit the 109 m FPS Waal to sail 100% emissions-free. During the retrofit, the internal combustion engine will be removed, and the new zero-emissions propulsion system including PEM fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs and an electric drive train will be installed. The total amount of power installed will be around 1200 kW andthe vessel will have a cargo capacity of 200 TEU after the retrofit, the company said.

“The FPS Waal conversion will bring knowledge on how to retrofit vessels from diesel combustion to zero-emission alternatives by using battery in combination with green hydrogen in a fuel cell,” said Bart Biebuyck, executive director - Clean Hydrogen Partnership. “A key aspect is the replicability of this zero-emission retrofit to similar vessels.”

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