Rotterdam’s Zero Emissions Services concept receives €50 million investment


Zero Emissions Services (ZES) – co-founded by the Port of Rotterdam Authority – has received a €50 million ($54 million) investment from the National Growth Fund.

ZES was first set up in 2020 by Ebusco, ING, Wärtsilä, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority and offers a new energy system that makes inland shipping more sustainable. The product is based around the use of exchangeable battery containers with green electricity, charging stations, technical support, and an innovative payment concept for barge owners.

The new investment aims to accelerate implementation of the solution for inland navigation.

According to the Port of Rotterdam, the sum will be used for the development of 75 battery containers for maritime application (ZESpacks), 14 docking stations where the ZESpacks will be loaded, and 45 electrified inland vessels.

“This is not only good news for the inland shipping sector and for ZES, but above all leads to a better living environment,” said Bart Hoevenaars, CEO of ZES. “Now truly clean sailing will be possible, without CO2, nitrogen, and particulate matter emissions. It is also silent.

“The National Growth Fund supports skippers in investing in an electric power train. Zero Emission Services can now invest in the most expensive part, the battery containers, so that these skippers only pay for use.

“The support will also enable the realisation of publicly accessible charging stations along some crucial waterways for inland navigation in the Netherlands. By making it possible to invest in these three things simultaneously, the well-known chicken-and-egg problem for green transport is broken.

“We thank the Ministry of I&W for their cooperation in the past year in going through this careful process together. Together with them, we are convinced that the National Growth Fund will strengthen the competitive position of this important transport sector for the Netherlands with this support.”

The port authority went onto reiterate the importance of this investment, stating that if there is no support for electrically powered ships, battery containers or charging infrastructure the breakthrough towards zero-emissions will not happen.

In other recent news, GIDARA Energy has announced it will open its next advanced biofuels facility in the Port of Rotterdam.

The Advanced Methanol Rotterdam (AMR) plant will convert non-recyclable waste into advanced methanol which will replace fossil fuels and create significant carbon savings.

The construction of AMR directly supports Rotterdam’s aim of becoming a CO2-neutral port and industrial complex by 2050.

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