After more than 1.6 B€ EU investments invested in inland waterway fuel & infrastructure in 2014-2018, we should strive to improve the efficiency & make best use of technologies, from fully electric to wind assistance to smart shipping tech: hydrogen is ticking all these boxes as was demonstrated in the port of Brussels on October 17 where two of the 5 innovative cleaner shipping solutions ran on H2. “Over 14,000 vessels carry 500 million tonnes of cargo every year on a congestion-free network of 37,000 km: our inland waterways can take a greater share in the European #transport mix & help decarbonising transport.” – said DG MOVE director general Hendrik Hololei at the event . 21 EU Member States have inland waterways, 13 of which have interconnected waterway networks.

As a comparison the current the European Commission has launched a call on October 16, 2019, worth €1.4 billion to support key transport projects through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s central funding instrument for infrastructure networks. The investment will help build missing connections across the continent, while focusing on sustainable transport modes. Brussels like Rotterdam and Antwerp is on the TEN T Rhine Alpine corridor.

An ambtious scenario to convert 300 Rhine bound vessels to hydrogen in the coming 10 years would save over 220 ktons of CO2 annually, 10% of the Dutch inland shipping emissions.  Hydrogen solutions for inland shipping in addition could support a host of other fleets running in and around ports from trucks to urban delivery to mobile port equipment to lift merchandise in and out of these vessels and vehicles. The Port of Antwerp recently ordered ta tug driven by combustion engines that will use a mix of  hydrogen and diesel (EU stage V), built by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) who also supported the Hydroville taxi.