ADIMDE NEWS 24 ZES LAUNCHED TO DEVELOP EMISSION- FREE BARGE CONCEPT ING, the energy and techni- cal service provide, ENGIE, the Wärtsilä maritime tech- nology company and the Port of Rotterdam Authority founded Zero Emission Ser- vices BV (ZES), a company that aims to develop an emis- sion-free barge concept. The concept has the backing of the Dutch Ministry of In- frastructure and Water Ma- nagement. Inland navigation accounts for 5% of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) in the Dutch transport sector. The shift from diesel-powered to fully electrically-powered trans- port is an important step towards advancing to the Pa- ris Climate Agreement goals. Willem Dedden, CEO of Zero Emission Services explained that “with ZES, we are intro- ducing a systemic change in inland navigation, allowing barges to sail emission-free thanks to replaceable battery containers. These ‘ZESPacks’ are charged with sustainably generated power. A network of open access charging points will be set up for ex- changing battery containers” “Here, depleted ZESPacks are exchanged for full ones, so that ships can sail on quic- kly, with minimal waiting time. The energy containers are designed for multiple applications, so they can also be temporarily used on sho- re to stabilise the electricity grid or to meet momentary local demand for electricity. The system is future-proof because it is independent of the energy carrier. We will start out using batteries, but if hydrogen becomes chea- per in the future, hydrogen technology-equipped con- tainers with will be able to supply power in the same way,” added Dedden. The project will initially be used along the Zoeterwoude – Alpherium – Moerdijk co- rridor. It will then be expan- ded to include the Amster- dam – Rotterdam – Antwerp corridor and connect with Nijmegen. In the first pha- se, the emphasis will be on converted and newly built inland container ships. This year, the first vessel fitted with ZESpacks, De Alphenaar, will be used to take beer from the Heine- ken brewery in Alphen aan de Rijn to the Port of Moe- rdijk. A further five vessels will be brought into service during 2021. The first ZES charging station will be set up in Alphen aan de Rijn. The network of charging stations will be gradually expanded to form a natio- nal grid of approximately 20 charging points. An in- land vessel can travel some 50 to 100 km on two char- ged ZES-Packs – depending, among other factors, on the currents and the vessel’s size and draught. ZES will ini- tially only focus on the con- tainer inland shipping seg- ment. By 2030, the company expects around 150 inland vessels to be powered by the new battery containers.