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Netherlands: Interchangeable barge batteries

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  • Netherlands: Interchangeable barge batteries

    Netherlands: Interchangeable barge batteriesA Dutch consortium has come up with its Newfounded Zero Emission Services (ZES), a joint venture that focuses on zero-emission inland navigation. The initiators plan to put the first electric ship into operation this year.

    Specifically, the ZES business model envisages leasing interchangeable battery containers, so-called ZES packs, to shipping companies. The company puts together a service package around this core ideaCharging stations, green electricity, technical support and a payment concept for ship owners. Depending on the current, size and draft of the ship, two ZES packs can reach 50 to 100 kilometers, according to a message from the Dutch consortium.

    Specifically, the port company Rotterdam, the shipping company Wärtsilä, the energy group Engie and the bank ING are working together for the project. Support also comes from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The first customer is Heineken. The beer company has committed to transporting beer from the brewery in Zoeterwoude to Moerdijk without emissions for ten years. Before the end of the year, the first ship - the Alphenaar - will commute from Alphen aan de Rijn to Moerdijk for this purpose. Five more ships are expected to be added as early as 2021.

    ZES focuses primarily on inland shipping. The company predicts that around 150 inland vessels with ZES packs could sail by 2030. A network of so-called “Open Access charging points” is planned for the exchange of the battery containers. There, the empty packs can be exchanged for freshly charged battery containers.




    The first location will be in Alphen aan de Rijn. The focus will then be on setting up the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp corridor and establishing a connection to Nijmegen. Nationwide coverage can be achieved with around 20 charging stations, the company says. The ZES packs are meanwhile designed in such a way that they can also be used temporarily on land - for example to stabilize the power grid or to cover a limited local electricity requirement. In addition, the consortium partners emphasize that the containers could also supply electricity based on hydrogen in the future.

    With this concept, ZES wants to mobilize inland shipping, which is very strong in the Netherlands, to switch to zero-emission drives. In view of the high investments in the conversion of the container ships, the company then promises low operating costs. With the “pay-per-use” tariff, ZES only charges ship owners for the energy they consume and the rent of the battery containers.

    “When it comes to the sustainable transportation of goods by water, the Netherlands is at the forefront. Over a third of the total volume of goods and 80 percent of the bulk goods are transported in inland waterways, ”stated Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management. “On the one hand, this means that fewer trucks drive on the roads, which means there are fewer traffic jams. We now want to extend this lead even further with these new electrically powered inland navigation vessels. ”

    Edison.media , portofrotterdam.com , wartsila.com

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