EIFERH2SHIPS Hydrogen for shipping traffic

Neo Orbis, Copyright: Port of Amsterdam

Hydrogen-powered ships will soon be a reality in the harbour of Amsterdam. As part of the Interreg North-West-Europe project H2SHIPS, the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen refuelling systems and hydrogen powered ships was demonstrated. H2SHIPS was granted € 3.4 million in EU funding and was coordinated by EIFER. Steinbeis Europa Zentrum and partners from 5 countries have laid the foundation for a successful market entry of hydrogen technologies in shipping.

The project benefited from collaborations between different stakeholders and developed several results from technical, economic and regulatory studies. This joint work was crucial to meet the project objectives and help to bring climate neutral solutions for transport to the market. The project includes three pilot projects in which technologies were demonstrated and an action plan developed.

Port and inland waterway vessel for Amsterdam

A hydrogen-powered port vessel, the Neo Orbis, is being built in the Netherlands. The project partner Port of Amsterdam started building the Neo Orbis in January 2023, which has since evolved from a pure design concept into a real boat, scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2024.

With a length of 20 metres, the ship will sail in urban areas in the Amsterdam's canals and in the seaport area between Amsterdam and Ijmuiden. It will be completely emission-free and quiet and will be fully electric: it will be powered partly by batteries and partly by a fuel cell range extender. Sodium borohydride (NaBH4) is used as hydrogen carrier. It is a powder with a high flash point, which should ensure safe storage and easier refuelling than compressed hydrogen. NaBH4 releases hydrogen gas when mixed with pure water. H2SHIPS project partner TU Delft was involved in the development of the sodium borohydride reactor, which forms the heart of the fuel cell range extender. The practical experience gained in H2SHIPS with this innovative reactor should enable the rapid introduction of this technology on other ship types such as inland waterway cargo vessels.

Hydrogen refuelling in the port of Ostend

A hydrogen refuelling station for crew transfer ships has been built in the port of Ostend. The station has a unique dispensing system that can absorb any movement to ensure safe refuelling even in the events of high waves and strong winds.

Action plan for Paris

Another project result is the action plan for the implementation of H2SHIPS solutions on the Seine in Paris. The French partners of H2SHIPS - HAROPA Ports, Hynamics and SYCTOM - have looked at how and where hydrogen shipping can become a feasible option on the Seine and have analysed the success conditions from different perspectives. Detailed studies are available on the project website: https://vb.nweurope.eu/projects/project-search/h2ships-system-based-solutions-for-h2-fuelled-water-transport-in-north-west-europe/#tab-4.

Knowledge platform for hydrogen in shipping

The University of Birmingham developed a resource centre, the so-called H2SHIPS platform. The platform serves as a source of knowledge and information on hydrogen in shipping and offers an extensive collection of legal and technical material on the subject. It provides a list of ongoing projects focusing on hydrogen in shipping, as well as a list of hydrogen powered boats featuring different sizes and types.

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supported EIFER in project management and was responsible for the communication, dissemination and exploitation of the project results.

Platform: https://h2ships.org/

Project: https://www.nweurope.eu/h2ships

neo-orbis_en.pdf (nweurope.eu)

Video: H2SHIPS - paving the way for clean shipping (youtube.com)

Video: Interreg NWE Projekt H2SHIPS auf LinkedIn: #finalconference #h2ships #decarbonised #transport #hydrogen #ship #video

„Thanks to the collaboration of EU partners in H2Ships, we were able to drive forward decarbonization in shipping and prepare the market launch of hydrogen-based solutions for waterborne transport. Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum supported the communication of knowledge and results to a professional audience and to the public and provided great assistance in the organization of events.“

Christian-Frédéric Berthon, project manager at EIFER and coordinator of H2SHIPS

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Paul Haering
Dr. Marie-Eve Reinert
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Contact us!

Paul Haering
Dr. Marie-Eve Reinert

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