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Future Proof Shipping (FPS) has selected Ballard Power Systems to provide PEM fuel cells for the retrofitting of its second inland container vessel, the FPS Waal. Once the project is complete, the vessel will operate emissions-free, powered by green hydrogen fuel.

Powering Technology
This agreement will see the 109,8 x11,40 x 3,53 m FPS Waal receive six FCwaveTM modules. As a result, the vessel will have a fuel cell capacity of 1.2 MW. As the world’s first DNV type-approved fuel cell module for marine applications, FCwaveTM uses proven technology from Ballard’s heavy-duty module platform to deliver reliable performance, high power density and favourable economics.

Green Hydrogen
The retrofit is a similar project to that undertaken on FPS’ first vessel, FPS Maas, which is expected to be sailing on green hydrogen by the end of 2022.

Powering Innovation
In order to sail 100% emissions-free, the vessel’s internal combustion engine will be removed and a new zero-emissions propulsion system, including PEM fuel cells, hydrogen storage, battery packs and an electric drive train will be installed. Following the retrofit, the total amount of installed power will be approximately 1200 kW and the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 200 TEU.
The power capacity, size and design of the propulsion system for the FPS Waal are being optimized to handle the higher energy consumption rates on the Rotterdam to Duisburg section of the Rhine.
Future Proof Shipping has already been in discussions with several cargo companies interested in shipping their containers emissions-free on this route and who are aiming to move a large part of their sea cargo to inland water transportation. The retrofit of the FPS Waal is supported by funding from the FLAGSHIPS project and the ZEM Ports NS project.

In order to bring its second zero-emission container vessel to Europe’s waterways, FPS joined the FLAGSHIPS consortium. The European innovation project is aiming to take zero-emission waterborne transport to a new level, bringing together key industrial players to share knowledge and expertise.
“A key benefit of joining the FLAGSHIPS consortium was getting the opportunity to work with world-leading technology companies like Ballard. Teaming up with Ballard for the provision of our fuel cells gives us the equipment and expertise we can rely on and together we are blazing a new trail towards zero-emissions inland shipping for all.” Dirk de Jong – Project Manager, Future Proof Shipping.
Within the FLAGSHIPS project, FPS is also working with other partners, such as naval architect LMG Marin, and project coordinators VTT. The companies are collaborating to complete the engineering, fuel cell provision, and safety studies required for the vessel’s approval, applying and further developing the existing regulatory guidelines.


About Future Proof Shipping
Future Proof Shipping (FPS) (, offers zero-emissions shipping services to enable players across the value chain make the transition to zero-emissions. As a zero-emission ship owner, FPS aims to build and operate a fleet of 30 zero-emission inland and short-sea vessels by 2030 which they will offer for charter to logistics service providers and cargo owners. FPS also facilitates other shipowners and stakeholders in the maritime sector who are ready to make the shift to zero-emissions, through technical support as well as project development and management.

About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard (, is a leading global provider of innovative clean energy fuel cell solutions that offer superior performance and reduced operating costs. Ballard is focused on applications where hydrogen fuel cells have a clear advantage and are working on accelerating fuel cell technology adoption.

The FLAGSHIPS (www., consortium includes 12 European partners, with shipowners, Future Proof Shipping, Norled (NO), and CFT (FR) assisted by its support companies Sogestion (FR) and Sogestran (FR); the maritime OEM and integrator companies ABB Marine & Ports (FI) and SEAM (NO); and ship design company LMG Marin (NO & FR). World-leading fuel cell technology is provided by Ballard Europe (DK), with vessel energy monitoring and management by Persee (FR). Management and dissemination activities are provided by VTT (FI) and NCE Maritime CleanTech (NO), respectively.

About the Clean Hydrogen Partnership
The Clean Hydrogen Partnership – the successor of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) – aims to strengthen and integrate European Union research and innovation capacity to accelerate the development and improvement of advanced clean hydrogen applications ready for market, across energy, transport, building and industrial end-uses, while strengthening competitiveness of the Union clean hydrogen value chain. The three members of the partnership are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by Hydrogen Europe Research. Homepage (
The FLAGSHIPS project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under Grant Agreement No 826215. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.

About ZEM Ports NS
ZEM Ports NS ( is an Interreg project, facilitating the use of zero emission fuels (electric and hydrogen) in the North Sea Region (NSR) ports and maritime sector. The project looks at the role of ports in the interface between zero emission vessels and port infrastructure. It especially addresses the integration of zero emission fuels into the port refuelling infrastructure and local energy systems as well as port and on-ship energy storage. It will develop refuelling infrastructure for vessels and training for the crews of zero emission vessels and staff using associated infrastructure.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Avatar Ad van Ommen says:

    Great to read how FPS as a ship owner and transport services provider is developing zero emission technology. FPS is an important linking pin between businesses in the Netherlands and similar developments in other European countries. The inland waterway transport sector and short sea shipping sector in the Netherlands and in Europe can be grateful to FPS and similar initiatives toward zero emission operations.

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