The world’s first hydrogen-powered vessel has completed technical sea trials and obtained a provisional certificate to be put into service.
The vessel named Antonie was built by Dutch shipyard Concordia Damen for compatriot inland shipping company Lenten Scheepvaart. It will be used to transport salt for Nouryon, a global chemical supplier, from its salt factory in Delfzijl in the north of the Netherlands to the Botlek in the Port of Rotterdam.
According to the shipbuilder, the technical sea trials were held on October 23 when the vessel was inspected by Lloyd’s Register (LR) and received a provisional certificate to be put into service.
For the next step, hydrogen containers are expected to arrive by the end of this year and enable testing of the advanced diesel-electric propulsion system.
Bart van Driel, Project Manager at Concordia Damen, said: “The fuel cell will soon serve as an energy supplier for the battery packs after the installation of the distribution panel and the placement of the hydrogen containers. The fuel cell itself, which converts hydrogen into electricity, has already been installed on board. Once the distribution panel is delivered, it is just a matter of sizing and manufacturing the final pieces of piping and adjusting the fuel cell installation itself. The diesel generator will then no longer be used, so the Antonie will sail completely emission-free.”
Lenten Scheepvaart received a €4 million subsidy for the construction of the vessel from the Netherlands Governmental Department of Infrastructure and Water Management. The subsidy aims to stimulate the development of the use of hydrogen as a fuel on the path toward zero emissions in inland shipping.
A hydrogen bunker station has also been built in Delfzijl with the subsidy.
To remind, Concordia Damen won the construction contract for the hydrogen-powered inland vessel back in 2021. The 135-meter ship was launched in December 2022 and its hull reached the Netherlands in February 2023.