Oostende, one of Belgian’s main seaside resorts is still in holiday mode, but its port and shipping communiy is bubbling with hydrogen these days.  CMB, for example operating nearly s 100 seagoing vessels in our oceans.  is developing several projects around hydrogen. In 2017, CMB Technologies launched the Hydroville , see  photo, on August 27, 2019 during the Hydrogen Days in the port of Oostende. Claiming to be the world’s first classified ship that uses hydrogen in conventional combustion engines, reducing its CO2 emissions. Several other projects are under development: more powerful hydrogen engines, hydrogen refueling station, research of new storage techniques and development of new types of hydrogen ships. In March 2019 the development of the HydroCat was announced. This vessel will serve as crew transfer vessel for an offshore wind farm at the North Sea.

Also on August 27, 2019 the INTERREG NW Europe project H2SHIPS was inaugurated. H2SHIPS will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping and will identify the conditions for successful market entry for the technology. Two pilot projects will be implemented as part of H2SHIPS: A new hydrogen powered port vesselwill be built in Amsterdam and in Belgium a H2 refuelling systemsuitable for open sea operation will be developed and tested. A further major output will be an action plan for the implementation of an H2SHIPS pilot on the river Seine in Paris in 2022. H2SHIPS will demonstrate the added-value of H2 for water transport and develop a blueprint for its adoption across North-West Europe, avoiding considerable GHG-emissions.