Future Proof Shipping (FPS) is currently retrofitting its first inland vessel FPS Maas to sail on green hydrogen. In order to train the crew onboard to work safely with hydrogen (H2) and gain awareness of any potential hazards, they contacted the Maritieme Academie Harlingen (MAH) with a collaboration request.
The idea is for FPS and MAH to develop a new training standard in Europe for working with hydrogen onboard ships. In a unique step to mature the H2 economy in the maritime industry in Europe, the FPS and MAH teams will work together with PLATINA3.
Collaboration is key
PLATINA3 is an EU-funded project providing targeted coordination and support activities to promote inland waterway transport (IWT) in Europe. The project makes the bridge between research, innovation and implementation needs within IWT in Europe.
“It is my hope that this hydrogen training course we are developing will be of benefit, not only to the FPS crew, but to the entire next generation of inland crew.” Fokke van der Veen, Director Operations – Future Proof Shipping.
“This is a whole new world. Figuring out how to develop training for using hydrogen onboard a vessel is both challenging and exciting. We see this as an opportunity to educate and protect the crews of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and to make them aware of the potential issues and how to spot them.” Jan-Henk Braam – Maritieme Academie Harlingen.
The aim of the parties is to develop hydrogen training in line with PLATINA3, which will form a new European standard to be implemented and certified across the industry, making hydrogen a more familiar sustainable fuel to work with.
“We have a positive approach to training. We balance theory with practice. Of course, we cover the risks and any safety concerns, but our main goal is to build confidence in the people we train so that they become familiar with the functioning of the equipment and quickly aware of any issues that require attention.” Meeuwis van Wirdum – Maritieme Academie Harlingen.
What the training includes
The first two-day training course will be delivered to the FPS crew at the end of March 2023. The syllabus will cover:
• Hydrogen basics – what it is and how it functions as a fuel
• Safety awareness – knowing & managing the risks
• HAZOP – Hazard and Operability study
• How various systems work, manufacturer details.
In the initial training which will be rolled out to the crew of the FPS Maas, suppliers of the fuel cell and hydrogen systems will participate in order to clarify any questions regarding their systems and technology.
“Some systems may vary in layout and design but the safety philosophy is the same,” says Meeuwis van Wirdum – Maritieme Academie Harlingen.
Based on the operational profile, readiness, and price, FPS chose PEM fuel cells and compressed hydrogen for the FPS Maas. The hydrogen and fuel cell system will be installed in the cargo space, with the hydrogen being placed in two 40ft containers (approx. 1000 kg at 300 bar) above the fuel cell system.
FPS Maas will be the world’s first zero-emissions vessel running on PEM fuel cells with green hydrogen and batteries. The project is a milestone on the path to the decarbonisation of inland waterways. It enables the substitution of conventional fuel used in the shipping industry with hydrogen, thus reducing the sector’s environmental footprint. The solution can be easily replicated on other ships, trains and other applications.
The retrofit of the FPS Maas will be completed in Q2 this year. “We are proud to be working together with BCTN, Holland Shipyards Group (HSG), Nedtsack, Koedood and Air Liquide on the retrofit project. Now with the support of the Martieme Academie Harlingen training which is based on the PLATINA3 principles, it’s all coming together.” Fokke van der Veen, Director Operations – Future Proof Shipping.