Making a big difference with small steps
On Monday, June 12th, a construction update of the Hydrogen Electric Cargo Ship Antonie (WEVA) took place at Concordia Damen in Werkendam. The guests were given a tour of the zero-emission inland vessel by owner Harm Lenten. The WEVA project aims to share knowledge, demonstrate innovation, and set the standard for hydrogen in inland shipping. Over the next few weeks, this first newly built hydrogen-electric inland vessel will be fully completed. The test run is scheduled for the end of the summer.
The ship will operate under the name Ms Antonie on behalf of NPRC. The 135-meter long vessel will transport salt completely emission-free from Delfzijl to the Nobian factory in the Rotterdam Botlek. Each voyage will involve approximately 3,850 tons of salt. Marco Waas of Nobian is delighted with the ship: “10% of our scope 3 CO2 emissions come from transportation activities. Nobian aims to operate climate-neutrally by 2040, and green transport by water is part of that. Five years ago, we started this project as partners. We are proud that this climate-neutral ship will soon be in service. As the largest green hydrogen producer in the Netherlands, it is fantastic that Ms Antonie will transport our raw material, salt, in a CO2-neutral way.”
Persistency pays off
Femke Brenninkmeijer from NPRC emphasizes the need for perseverance: “When you work on major issues such as the energy transition, you have to be able to deal with setbacks. This project requires courage. It’s fantastic that the government is a serious partner in the WEVA project. It is through collaboration with partners that you can get such a complex project off the ground. I am particularly proud that we have managed to achieve this together with our member Harm Lenten, the client, and all stakeholders. I hope that we will inspire others with this new-build hydrogen-electric inland vessel.”
NPRC member and inland shipping entrepreneur Harm Lenten did not expect to be standing here today five years ago. Proudly, he talks about this sustainability initiative: “A ship that emits no CO2 and makes no noise. That is fantastic. With this pilot project, we demonstrate that hydrogen is a feasible and sustainable solution for greening inland shipping. It is through the pooling of forces, knowledge, and resources that we can achieve something great. Together, we will make the innovative WEVA project a success. I can’t wait to sail completely climate-neutral and silently through the Dutch landscape after the summer.”
Driving force for hydrogen
The Port of Rotterdam sees hydrogen as a promising fuel for longer distances in inland shipping. Vivienne de Leeuw, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), sees an increasing role of hydrogen: “Rotterdam is becoming an international hub for the production, import, application, and transit of hydrogen to other countries in Northwestern Europe. The WEVA project reflects the right mentality that we embrace in Rotterdam, namely tucking up our sleeves and simply getting started. Let this project be the driving force for safely using hydrogen on a larger scale in inland shipping.”
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