Overijssel is the first province in the Netherlands to launch a ship powered by hydrogen. A tender for the construction of this vessel, which will be used for maintenance and inspection of the provincial waterways from 2024, will be issued soon.

The old workboat, which runs on diesel, dates from 1983 and is at the end of its lifespan.

Also read: Hydrogen as backbone for shipping decarbonisation

Why hydrogen?

A comparison with diesel and electric-powered ships of this type quickly proved in favour of hydrogen. For instance, hydrogen provides a relatively high range compared to electric propulsion. With hydrogen, the ship can be kept running for two days in a row.

Moreover, the battery pack is more compact and efficient in use. As the ship sails through protected nature reserves like the Weerribben, an environmentally friendly solution is a major plus point.

The design that Overijssel commissioned for this ship is the blueprint for the new construction. With a length of 20 metres and a movable wheelhouse that can be adjusted to the height of the bridges, this vessel will be an important asset for the provincial management of the Overijssel waterways.

Pilot project

The fact that this workboat is an interesting pilot project is underlined by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), which provided Overijssel with a grant. As a result, Overijssel was able to close the financing gap and this special initiative will soon get off the ground.

Also read: Next Generation Shipyards to build Amsterdam’s new hydrogen-powered pilot vessel Neo Orbis