Dutch Government Supports Development of Shipping Vessel Powered by Green Hydrogen with €4m Subsidy

The ship, named Antonie will be the world’s first barge shipping dry bulk to be powered by green hydrogen and is expected to enter service in 2023

Lenten Scheepvaart, a member of the Dutch inland shipping cooperative (NPRC) has been granted a government subsidy of €4 million to develop the world’s first dry bulk barge powered by green hydrogen. The ship is scheduled to transport salt for Nobian, a Dutch chemicals multinational from Delfzijl to Rotterdam. The ship’s engine will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. It has been named Antonie and will enter service in 2023.

NPRC officials pose next to Antonie

NPRC officials pose next to Antonie, Credit: NPRC website

The government’s grant is an important step towards systemic change in the inland navigation transport sector, bringing the Netherlands significantly closer to achieving targets set out in the Green Deal. Earlier, Nobian and the NPRC joined hands for the Rh2ine project which aims to develop infrastructure for powering salt transport fleets with hydrogen along the Rhine.

Inland waterway shipping is critical to the Dutch economy, and innovations that aim to make the industry more sustainable are on the rise. In 2019, the Dutch government, provinces, ports, maritime industry associations, shippers, shipping agents, banks and research institutions came together to form an initiative aimed specifically for the purpose. The construction of Antonie and the cooperation it has generated from the government and the maritime industry is an excellent example of how countries can move collectively towards a more sustainable future. The project is part of the Dutch government’s €15 million initiative to stimulate green innovations in the inland shipping sector.

NPRC CEO Femke Brenninkmeijer said: “The success of this project is cooperation between Lenten Scheepvaart, Nobian, NPRC and the government. Only with the support of all stakeholders is it possible to move… towards zero-emission transport over water. The strength of our cooperative lies in long-term cooperation between supply chain partners in the field of logistics and sustainability, which can now be seen in concrete results in terms of zero-emission and digitalization of the supply chain. The NPRC is the frontrunner of this development.”