Developer of maritime battery systems EST-Floattech will receive an investment of EUR 4 million. The company will use the contribution to grow both nationally and internationally and will also focus on larger vessels.

The investment is being provided by the Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam and existing shareholders Rotterdam Port Fund, PDENH, Ponooc, and Yard Energy. The funding was announced by Chantal Zeegers, the Alderman for Climate, Building, and Housing in Rotterdam. The “Energietransitiefonds Rotterdam” is the investment fund of the municipality of Rotterdam. Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam is investing EUR 3 million, the fund’s first investment in maritime battery systems. The existing shareholders are jointly investing EUR 1 million.

EST-Floattech develops and produces high-quality lithium-ion battery systems for electric and hybrid propulsion of inland vessels, ferries, yachts, and more. Combined with in-house-developed software, the systems provide significant improvements when it comes to CO2 emissions, fuel costs, noise pollution, and air quality.

Also read: EST-Floattech delivers batteries for SFK ferry Laboe

Maritime ecosystem

As fund manager of Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam and investor in Rotterdam Port Fund, InnovationQuarter is closely involved in the investment. Rotterdam Port Fund is a private investment fund focused on innovation in the port sector. The fund played an important role in the realisation of the transaction, which exemplifies the close cooperation within the South Holland maritime cluster.

EST-Floattech contributes to this ecosystem through their many Rotterdam customers, including Damen and Kotug. Innovation in electrification aligns with both the Regional Maritime Agenda 2030 and the Regional Energy Strategy for Rotterdam/The Hague.

EST-Floattech_Octopus Series battery room
EST-Floattech Octopus series battery room (by EST-Floattech).

Great societal importance

The electrification of shipping has great social importance. Inland and maritime shipping together account for 16.5 per cent of the Netherlands’ CO2 emissions. Moreover, goods transported by water will increase significantly in the coming years.

The EU is aiming for a fifty per cent increase in transport via inland waterways and shorter sea routes by 2050 compared to 2015. For international shipping, volume growth of over 200 per cent is even expected between 2023 and 2050. Currently, only one per cent of the global fleet is electrified, and the sector needs to catch up tremendously to achieve net zero by 2050.

Since January 1st, 2024, the European CO2 emissions trading system EU-ETS has been in place for larger ships, with smaller ships expected to follow in 2026. The increasing costs associated with CO2 emissions make electrification increasingly interesting within a rapidly growing market. As the second-largest player, there is a great opportunity here for EST-Floattech.

Also read: EST-Floattech battery powers world’s first CO2-neutral event vessel

International growth

Lithium-ion batteries combine low weight with high energy density, low self-discharge, and long life. EST-Floattech’s battery management system monitors (dis)charge status, temperature, and other parameters to ensure efficient and safe battery operation.

Fire safety is critical on ships. At EST-Floattech, safety is the highest priority, and the new Octopus Series battery system has been certified by classification bureaus DNV, Lloyd’s Register, and Bureau Veritas.

For the aluminium housing, insulation material, electronic components, and the racks in which the battery cells are installed, EST-Floattech is working with Dutch partners. The investment will allow EST-Floattech to continue to grow nationally and internationally. The company is focusing on market leadership in Northwest Europe and is working with battery manufacturer DuraPower for access to Asia and Oceania. EST-Floattech also plans to focus on larger vessels in the future.

Picture (top): EST-Floattech Octopus series battery system containerised (by EST-Floattech).

Also read: EST-Floattech launches new maritime type-approved battery system