On May 25th, Future Proof Shipping (FPS), a Dutch shipping company, celebrated the official launch of the H2 Barge 1, the world’s first hydrogen-powered zero-emissions inland container ship.

The launch took place in Rotterdam, with an earlier introduction event held at Nike’s European Logistics Campus in Laakdal, Belgium. Nike, in partnership with FPS and the BCTN Network of Inland Terminals, is committed to accelerating zero-emission shipping as part of its sustainability goals.

The H2 Barge 1, a 110m x 11.45m inland container vessel, is chartered by BCTN on behalf of Nike EMEA. The ship will operate multiple weekly trips between Rotterdam and BCTN’s inland terminal in Meerhout, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 2000 tonnes of CO2e per year.

The launch event was attended by Mark Harbers, the Minister of Infrastructure & Water Management in the Netherlands, who presented FPS Founder Huib van de Grijspaarde with a special A-Zero (A0) emission label. This prestigious label is awarded exclusively to zero-emission vessels. Minister Harbers commended Future Proof Shipping’s achievement and expressed hope that it would inspire other shipowners to transition to emission-free transport, leading to a future with more A-Zero emission labels.

The celebration of this collective achievement also saw the presence of representatives from Air Liquide, BCTN Network of Inland Terminals, Holland Shipyards Group, Koedood Marine Group, Kooiman Marine Group, Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology, Rabobank, and Nike.

Richard Klatten, CEO of Future Proof Shipping, expressed gratitude towards their dedicated team, founder, and trusted partners for their support in realizing the zero-emission shipping project. He highlighted the significance of this milestone for both Future Proof Shipping and the future of the shipping industry.

Nike’s Vice President of Operations & Logistics for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Eb Mukhtar, emphasized Nike’s commitment to a zero carbon, zero waste future and how the H2 Barge 1 aligns with their sustainable progress in logistics and transportation.

David Huybrechts, General Manager of BCTN in Belgium, emphasized their dedication to sustainability and their vision of becoming the preferred inland operator for customers while building a zero-emission future.

The FPS Maas/H2 Barge 1 retrofit project received grant funding from the Interreg North Sea Region Programme (Zero Emission Ports North Sea – ZEM Ports NS), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Port of Rotterdam, and the Expertise- en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart.

The launch of the H2 Barge 1 represents a significant advancement in the pursuit of zero-emission shipping. It showcases the feasibility of moving cargo with zero emissions and minimal environmental impact. With strong partnerships and support, Future Proof Shipping, Nike, and their collaborators are driving the industry towards a sustainable future.

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