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Future Proof Shipping's FPS Waal Sets Sail Towards Hydrogen-Powered Future
By Sea and Coast | 19/08/2023
Future Proof Shipping (FPS), a prominent Dutch shipping company, has embarked on an innovative journey towards sustainability by bidding adieu to diesel propulsion and embracing hydrogen as the future fuel for its vessel FPS Waal. This bold move marks a significant step towards reducing the maritime industry's carbon footprint and transitioning towards cleaner energy sources.
The FPS Waal, a containership with a rich history of inland voyages powered by diesel engines, has reached a pivotal moment in its evolution. Having arrived at the esteemed Holland Shipyards Group shipyard in Werkendam, the vessel is now poised to undergo a groundbreaking retrofit process. This process will involve the meticulous removal of all internal combustion engines, making way for the installation of a fully zero-emissions propulsion system.
The heart of this retrofit involves the integration of cutting-edge technologies, including Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, hydrogen storage systems, battery packs, and an advanced electric drive train. Over the coming weeks, the FPS Waal's main engine and generators will be meticulously replaced, making space for the new fuel cell section and battery room within the vessel's cargo hold.
The decision to opt for hydrogen as a fuel source is backed by environmental and practical considerations. Hydrogen boasts the advantage of emitting zero harmful emissions, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. This aligns seamlessly with FPS's commitment to sustainability and their vision for an emissions-free maritime future.
This pioneering endeavor follows the successful conversion work carried out on the FPS Maas, now known as H2 Barge 1, which was launched earlier in the year. This vessel is projected to contribute to a remarkable reduction of 2,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum, exemplifying the tangible impact of transitioning to hydrogen propulsion.
Furthermore, FPS has ambitious plans to continue their transformation by retrofitting another container vessel, FPS Rijn, with a hydrogen propulsion system. The strategic support for this venture comes from a consortium of organizations including the Interreg North Sea Region Programme, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Port of Rotterdam, and Expertise- en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart.
The FPS Waal's transition from diesel to hydrogen represents not only a pivotal moment for the maritime industry but also a testament to the power of innovation and sustainability. As FPS charts a course toward a cleaner, greener future, it sets an inspiring example for the entire shipping sector, proving that a zero-emissions voyage is both achievable and imperative for our planet's wellbeing.