ZES electrifies another ship on Dutch inland waterways

Thanks to conversions with battery containers from Zero Emission Services (ZES), a completely emission-free inland waterway vessel in the Netherlands will go into operation from April 2024 onwards. The first electrically powered ship on this route will be followed by four that will traverse Dutch inland waterways between Den Bosch, Maasvlakte and Moerdijk.

Image: Zero Emission Services

The first zero-emission ship on the route between Den Bosch, Maasvlakte and Moerdijk in the Netherlands is the 90-metre-long Den Bosch Max Groen. The electrically powered container ship transports containers for Heineken and other customers. It is not the first inland vessel to be electrified ZES battery packs – the first vessel called the Alphenaar, was initiated in 2021 and now operates between Alphen aan den Rijn and Moerdijk, also on behalf of the Heineken brewery.

Transforming the Dutch inland shipping route between Den Bosch, Maasvlakte and Moerdijk is being made possible through collaboration from Inland terminal operator BCTN – a part of the Inland Terminals Group (ITG), Nedcargo, and Zero Emission Services (ZES). The three partners say they are committed to achieving emission-free operations along crucial corridors and accelerating the sustainability of inland shipping. The initiative focuses on collaboration across the entire logistics value chain.

The ZES battery packs that are decarbonising the ships can be charged in three hours with a 1 MW charging system that is to be installed at the BCTN terminal in Alblasserdam in the first quarter of 2024. The partners will see to the installation of Charging stations in Den Bosch (BCTN terminal), in Moerdijk, and at the Prins Johan Frisohaven in Rotterdam shortly after.

Eduard Backer, CEO of Inland Terminals Group, stated, As the largest inland terminal operator in the Benelux, we aim to take the lead in further greening inland shipping. The innovation project involving the electrification of the Den Bosch Max Groen is an excellent initial step toward achieving this goal. Upon a successful evaluation of the project, multiple more ships will follow.”

Marnix Vos, Project Manager at Nedcargo, explained, By 2050, inland shipping must be zero emission. If everyone waits until 2045, it will go wrong. You cannot convert six thousand ships in such a short period. We want to be involved now, and we are ready. Together with BCTN and ZES, we will establish a sustainable business case. This pilot is our starting point.”

ZES is a joint venture set up by a Dutch consortium committed to zero-emission inland shipping founded in 2020.  The ZES business model involves renting out exchangeable battery containers – the ZES packs – to shipping companies. The company offers a service package with charging stations, green electricity, technical support and a pay-per-use payment concept for ship owners. ZES aims to instigate 30 emission-free shipping routes by 2030.



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