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Maritime Sisters: meet the future of inland shipping

It’s wonderful to be back at a shipyard and inhale the scent of welded steel. Memories come flooding back because we grew up just around the corner from Werkendam. And how we love coming here, as there is still a lot of maritime activity happening. A network of inland shipping skippers, shipyards, suppliers, service providers, and government working together to achieve much-needed innovations for our sustainable maritime future.

Also, the first (newly built) hydrogen-powered inland vessel is no exception. The secret behind this innovation? Absolutely stunning technology, but above all: people!

During the TKI meeting last month, we discussed the “human factor.” Well, in our opinion, this amazing innovation perfectly illustrates that. Thanks to people with courage, determination, and perseverance, this dream has turned into reality in just five years. We sometimes forget, but on average, 70% of the success of innovations is determined by the “human factor.” It can make or break an innovation. We hear it in all the speeches on Monday: this consortium consists of a remarkable group of people who undoubtedly chose the first option.

Circular opportunity

It’s about the WEVA project, which stands for “Waterstof Elektrisch Vrachtschip Antonie” (Hydrogen Electric Cargo Ship Antonie). WEVA is a collaboration between, among others, the inland shipping cooperative NPRC, Nobian Industrial Chemicals, Concordia Damen Shipbuilding, Koedood Marine, HyEnergy, Nedstack, and of course, Harm Lenten from Lenten Scheepvaart. We are thrilled by how this ambitious project was triggered by a circular opportunity, namely the green hydrogen that is released as a byproduct at Nobian and produced using the salt that Antonie will transport in the future.

On March 30, 2022, Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management) officially kicked off the construction of the first newly built inland vessel that will run on hydrogen. A year later, the hull of the Antonie is moored at Concordia Damen for completion by CCM3. We will receive a construction update and a tour by Harm Lenten.

World premiere

When NPRC brought this opportunity to attention, he immediately jumped on board. And that goes not only for the other partners but also for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the province of South Holland, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. But it’s mainly the people personally involved who make it possible.
Together, these frontrunners will permanently greenify inland shipping with the first state-of-the-art hydrogen-electric newly built dry cargo vessel. And it doesn’t stop there.

They are not only working on a world premiere, but these parties are also willing to share their lessons and insights to scale up emission-free inland shipping. Make your voice heard for this consortium that backs up their words with action and works towards our sustainable maritime future. Share this exciting news. We can’t wait for the christening and a transport between Delfzijl and Rotterdam.

This article was originally published on Schuttevaer.

Knowing more?

Get in touch

Do you have any questions about this innovative hydrogen-electric inland vessel? Or do you want to know more about the results? I’ll be happy to answer them.

Harm Lenten