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Renewable Hydrogen for Inland Waterway Emission Reduction

Project description

Paving the way for clean hydrogen fuel cells on shipping vessels

Sea vessels generate large amounts of pollution and emissions, while inland waterway shipping, though considerably smaller, can still produce a significant impact. There is an urgent need for renewable and clean fuel sources. Hydrogen is a promising solution. The EU funded RH2IWER project aims to establish the essential foundations for the swift and efficient adoption of hydrogen fuel cells to power vessels in inland waterway shipping and, ultimately, sea fleets. To achieve this goal, the project will conduct research, develop and demonstrate the fuel cells on a range of vessels utilised for shipping and transport in the Rhine and Danube fleets.


The main aim of RH2IWER is to create a solid basis for the acceleration of hydrogen fuel cell powered vessels in inland waterway shipping by demonstrating six commercially operated vessels. These vessels are of varying lengths and types – 86m, 110m and 135m; container, bulk and tanker vessels with installed power ranging from 0.6 to ~2 MW. The project will also work with standardization of containerized fuel cell and hydrogen solutions.

With the demonstration, standardization work and multi-level analysis, combined with vigorous dissemination and communication measures, RH2IWER project will create a basis on which the shipping industry can significantly reduce their environmental footprint and remove emissions from their entire fleet in the future. The inland waterway fleet comprises a total of more than 15,000 vessels and the vessels within RH2IWER are representative of the typical dry and liquid cargo vessels in the Rhine and Danube fleets, amounting to 12,800 vessels or roughly 80% of the inland waterway fleet. The lessons learned from developing fuel cell and hydrogen solutions for the vessels in this project could be applied more or less directly to these vessels, which would then immediately reduce the GHG emissions from these ships to zero.

The consortium includes 14 European partners, with five shipowners Future Proof Shipping, Theo Pouw, VT Shipping, DFDS and Compagnie Fluviale de Transport with its affiliated entity Sogestion. The shipowners are supported by two of the main maritime fuel cell manufacturers Ballard Europe and Nedstackl, as well as world leading gas company Air Liquide and its affiliated entities Air Liquide Belge and L'Air Liquide SA. Lastly, highly respected knowledge institutions VTT, Stichting Projecten Binnenvaart and University of Genova with their affiliated entity H2Boat, will assist the companies in successful deployment as well as the dissemination, replication and exploitation of these demonstrations and technologies.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 165 725,00
Tekniikantie 21
02150 Espoo

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Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (14)