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ENR-035 2023 Marius Knutsen


The technology development to allow large vessels to operate zero-emission on inland waterways, using hydrogen as a fuel.

Another challenge when implementing a new fuel, such as hydrogen, are that there are no rules or regulations. New vessels running on future fuels have to be approved by maritime directorates and class companies to be allowed to operate with passengers, crew and cargo on the rivers in big European cities.


The FLAGSHIPS project will take zero-emission waterborne transport to an entirely new level by deploying two commercially operated hydrogen fuel cell vessels by 2023. The demo vessels include one of the world’s first commercial cargo transport vessel operating on hydrogen, soon plying the river Seine in Paris. The revolutionary vessel, named Zulu 06, will move goods on pallets and in containers on the route from Gennevilliers – Bonneuil Sur Marne.
The vessel will operate on compressed hydrogen produced from electrolysis, enabling not only zero-emission operations, but also creating a solid base for more local zero-emission transport, both at sea and on land. The power generation system for Zulu will be supplied by ABB Marine & Ports, with two 200 kW PEM fuel cells from Ballard. Ballard´s Fuel Cell modules, the FC Wave, is the world´s first type approved fuel cells for marine use.The second demo vessel is the FPS Waal, owned and operated by the Netherlands-based Future Proof Shipping (FPS). The 109,8-meter-long container cargo vessel will operate on the route between Rotterdam (NL) and Duisburg (DE) on the river Rhine. While Zulu is a new-build, the FPS Waal is a retrofit. Formerly named Fenny 1, this vessel was built in 1993, and was recently acquired by FPS. The route on the Rhine between the Netherlands and Germany is 240 kilometer long, each way. The river has a significant flow, making it crucial to appropriately size and optimize the propulsion system. The FPS Waal will have a cargo capacity of 200 TEU after conversion and the zero-emission propulsion system will include PEM fuel cells, battery packs, an electric motor and hydrogen storage. The total amount of power installed will be around 1,2 MW.


– World´s first type approved fuel cells for maritime use.
– Two cargo vessels operating zero-emission on hydrogen.
– People in Paris (France) and Rotterdam/Duisbuirg (Netherlands/Germany) will have no pollution and noise from the Flagships vessels
- Less traffic on European roads – taking the waterways instead of already busy city roads
- Better health and environment in big European cities


Maritime CleanTech


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland: project coordinator

Compagnie Fluviale De Transport

Maritime CleanTech



LMG Marin


Ballard Power Systems Europe


Future Proof Shipping

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