Key players develop emission-free navigation solution for barges
2 June 2020 saw the launch of ZES: a new company that helps increase the sustainability of the inland shipping sector by leasing exchangeable battery containers (known as ZES-Packs) to businesses in inland shipping, Port of Rotterdam said in its release.
This year, the first ship fitted with ZES-Packs, De Alphenaar, will already be carrying beer from the Heineken brewery in Alphen aan de Rijn to the port of Moerdijk. This first vessel will be joined by another five over the course of 2021. The first ZES charging station will be realised in Alphen aan de Rijn. The network of charging stations will be gradually expanded to form a national grid of approximately 20 charge points. An inland vessel can travel some 50 to 100 km on two charged ZES-Packs – depending, among other factors, on the currents and the vessel’s size and draught. ZES will initially be limiting its focus to the container inland shipping segment. By 2030, the company expects that around 150 inland vessels will be powered by the new battery containers.
Each container ship that switches from diesel fuel to ZES-Packs can reduce its carbon emissions by 1,000 tonnes per year. In addition, these battery-powered vessels do not release any particulates or nitrogen into the atmosphere. ZES is a joint venture of ING, Engie, Wärtsilä and the Port of Rotterdam Authority and is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Heineken will be the firm’s first client.
ZES is introducing a new energy system for making inland shipping more sustainable. This will be realized with emission-free navigation infrastructure that is accessible to everyone. Clean, climate-neutral and ready to compete with fossil fuels. ZES offers a complete range of products and services, based on interchangeable battery containers charged with renewable power, charging stations, technical support and an innovative payment concept for ship owners. The company was founded by ING, energy and technical service provider ENGIE, maritime technology company Wärtsilä and the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management supports this first step in the transition to emission-free inland shipping. The HEINEKEN beer company has entered into an agreement with ZES, who will be providing emission-free beer transports from the brewery in Zoeterwoude to Moerdijk for ten years - a vital vote of end customer confidence.
The Paris Climate Agreement calls for a more sustainable transport sector. Today, the Dutch transport sector is collectively responsible for 21% of all carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions in the Netherlands. Within the transport sector, inland navigation makes up 5% of carbon dioxide emissions. The Green Deal Zeevaart, Binnenvaart en Havens (Maritime, Inland Shipping and Ports) includes agreements that aim to make inland shipping more sustainable. With a transformation from diesel-powered inland shipping to fully electrically powered transport, the inland shipping sector is taking an important step towards realizing climate agreement goals. In addition, electric barges will no longer emit nitrogen oxide.
ZES plans to use this concept to move the entire inland navigation and short sea sector toward emission-free sailing. The first loading point will be along the Zoeterwoude - Alpherium - Moerdijk corridor. Next, the focus will be on setting up an Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp corridor and making a connection to Nijmegen. In the first phase the emphasis will be on converted and newly built inland container ships.