Concordia Damen has joined Lenten Scheepvaart to build the first inland navigation vessel in the Netherlands that will sail entirely on hydrogen. The vessel, to be named MV Antonie, will be 135 metres long, weigh 3700 tonnes and boast fuel cell propulsion.

The Antonie will be used to transport salt between Delfzijl in the north of the Netherlands to Botlek in the Port of Rotterdam for Nouryon – a leading global chemical supplier.

According to Damen, the propulsion system uses ‘revolutionary fuel cell technology’. The advantage of a fuel cell is that it can convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy, so there is little energy loss. It was already known that a substantial battery pack would be needed to give the ship sufficient power.

Concordia Damen CEO Chris Kornet says of the contract: ‘Greening the inland shipping sector is something which we feel passionate about and we will continue to work towards this goal. I believe there will not be one single way to reduce emissions in our sector, but a number of approaches. Hydrogen is likely to play an important role in the achievement of zero emissions in inland shipping. Lenten Scheepvaart are to be commended for taking this leading role.’

4-million euro subsidy

Lenten Scheepvaart revealed its plans for the Antonie in March and has received a subsidy for the construction of the vessel to the value of 4 million euros. The subsidy, from the Netherlands Governmental department of Infrastructure and Water Management, aims to stimulate the development the use of hydrogen as a fuel on the path towards zero emissions inland shipping.

Likewise, the vessel and its operation will benefit from the subsidised hydrogen bunker station in Delfzijl.
Concordia Damen has a long track record in the development of sustainable vessel technology for the inland shipping sector, including a number of hybrid propulsion vessels.

Picture (from left to right): Tim van Berchum (Financial Manager, Concordia Damen Shipbuilding), Pieter Baggerman (Naval Architect, Concordia Damen Shipbuilding), Harm Lenten (Owner, Lenten Scheepvaart), Chris Kornet (CEO, Concordia Damen Shipbuilding).