France Set for World's First Hydrogen-Powered River Vessel

Tuesday May 21, 2019

France looks set to become the first country to introduce a hydrogen-powered river vessel.

The newbuilt push boat is being built for Compagnie Fluviale de Transport (CFT) and is due for delivery in 2021.

Hydrogen for the fuel cells will be sourced from shore-based renewable energy to ensure the vessel's complete lifecycle energy chain will be emission-free.

"With this project, we aim to highlight that emission-free operation is both feasible and commercially viable," said Matthieu Blanc, COO at CFT.

ABB says it will provide a fuel cell based power and propulsion solution for the vessel as part of its role in the EU-funded FLAGSHIPS initiative to deploy commercially operated zero-emission vessels for inland and short sea operations.

With the IMO2030 IMO2050 GHG reduction targets set, and a longer term ambition for a zero-emissions marine shipping industry, hydrogen is seen as one of the more promising fuel sources to replace traditional bunkers.

The scope of FLAGSHIPS also includes assessing the operational impact of the switch to hydrogen as a fuel.