Watertaxi Rotterdam has expanded its fleet with a hydrogen water taxi. It is the first ship in Europe’s largest port to run on this sustainable energy.
The 12-person MSTX 22 was developed by SWIM, a partnership between Watertaxi Rotterdam, maritime innovator Flying Fish and hydrogen/fuel cell manufacturer zepp.solutions from Delft, and the Rotterdam venture building studio Enviu.
Hydrogen is labeled as ‘the new gold’ by the energy and transport sector. The maritime sector is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Hydrogen is widely regarded as one of the most promising innovative applications for reducing harmful CO2 emissions from ships to zero.
‘The hydrogen water taxi is proof that concrete solutions already exist in the transition to clean transport by water’, says project leader Maarten Fonteijn of Enviu. ‘We can now also supply our technology in larger capacities and to other parties, starting in the port of Rotterdam.’
Pioneer in the world
The Port of Rotterdam Authority, energy company Uniper and Shell are already investing heavily in production facilities for green hydrogen on the Maasvlakte. Shell expects to be able to open the first hydrogen factory here as early as 2023. The Port of Rotterdam Authority and Uniper want to have a second hydrogen plant operational in 2024, also on the Maasvlakte.
Allard Castelein, President and CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, expects that by 2030, Rotterdam will be a ‘world leader’ on this front. It fits in with Castelein’s strategy to keep Rotterdam at the global top with digitization and clean energy sources as the best ‘smart’ and sustainable port. ‘There is so much knowledge and courage bundled together here: if we can’t do it, who can?’
‘Very nice to see how Rotterdam entrepreneurs are energetically working on the energy transition in our city. A real first for Rotterdam’, says alderman Chantal Zeegers (Climate, Building and Housing).
Emission-free water taxi fleet
The new MSTX 22 will be included in the Watertaxi Rotterdam timetable as soon as hydrogen can be bunkered in the port of Rotterdam. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is now developing the infrastructure for this, which will be ready at the beginning of 2023. The hydrogen water taxi fits in with Watertaxi Rotterdam’s assignment to make its entire fleet more sustainable. In addition to the MSTX 22, Watertaxi Rotterdam already has six electric ships in service.
‘We have set ourselves the goal of making our entire fleet zero-emission before 2030,’ says co-owner Daan van der Have of Watertaxi Rotterdam. ‘That is a major challenge for our fast ships, which must carry enough energy to sail for at least six hours a day without interruption. For that reason, we have conceived the plan together with Enviu to develop a hydrogen-powered water taxi. We have now succeeded, and we hope to take a big step towards the complete transition of our fleet.’
The hydrogen water taxi was christened on August 29 by Mrs Chantal Zeegers, alderman for Climate, Building and Housing in Rotterdam. The ship will be presented to the general public during the World Port Days on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September. In those days, the MSTX 22 is moored at the water taxi jetty at the head of the Leuvehaven, where interested parties can come and take a look.
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