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WÄRTSILÄ BATTERY CONTAINERS ENABLE ZERO-EMISSION INLAND VESSELS

WÄRTSILÄ BATTERY CONTAINERS ENABLE ZERO-EMISSION INLAND VESSELS

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 

Wärtsilä has developed a mobile battery container solution that will enable inland waterway vessels to operate with zero emissions, with the first system now delivered and in operation.

The first order, comprising three units, was placed by ZES (Zero Emission Services) BV, a Netherlands based company founded in 2020 by ING Bank, energy and technical service provider Engie, the Port of Rotterdam, and Wärtsilä. Two containers were delivered in June 2021.

The battery containers are installed on a 104 TEU inland waterway container vessel, which has been modified to allow two units to be mounted onboard. The system enables the vessel to operate on full electric power alone, with no carbon emissions being generated. When discharged, the containers can be exchanged and charged onshore using energy from renewable sources. This replaceability is believed to be unique since battery containers have thus far been stationary installations.

ZES CEO Willem Dedden said: “Within the Dutch transport sector, inland navigation accounts for 5% of the CO2 emissions. By switching from diesel fuelled to electric propulsion, an important step can be taken towards realising the Paris Climate Agreement targets. Ships participating in the ZES service will eliminate around 1000tof CO2 and 7t of NOx per year.”

Torsten Büssow, Director, Electrical and Power Management, Wärtsilä Marine Power, said: “Wärtsilä is committed to supporting all efforts towards the decarbonisation of shipping. This initiative is part of that commitment. We have leveraged our in-house know-how in maritime battery and hybrid systems, our shore power and remote connection capabilities, as well as our extensive experience in serving inland waterway applications for the development of this product.”

The Wärtsilä swappable battery container is fully equipped with safety systems, including an onboard fire protection skid. It is connected for remote monitoring. The operational and certification trials were carried out commencing in the end of August, 2021.

The concept, which is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, is based on a network of open access charging points. Here, depleted battery containers can be exchanged for fully charged replacements. A ‘pay-per-use’ model has been set-up whereby ZES charges only for the cost of consumed renewable energy. This allows the vessel’s operating costs to remain competitive.

This first vessel fitted with the Wärtsilä battery containers, the Alphenaar has now commenced operations along the Zoeterwoude – Alpherium – Moerdijk corridor in the Netherlands, transporting products from the Heineken brewery.

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