HEINEKEN to transform inland waterways into emission-free

In fact, the brewer HEINEKEN gathered a series of big corporate names to hit the start button on Zero Emission Services (ZES), which aims to revolutionise the use of inland waterways.

The standalone solution is a ship and a battery – and that’s it. But we want to create systems. ZES is the beginning of a system to exploit zero-emission logistics for all the ships in our country. And potentially all the ships on inland waterways in the world. You need to think big.

….said Jan Kempers, program manager for sustainable development at HEINEKEN Nederland Supply.

According to HEINEKEN, the big challenge for ZES is to make the change to electric power a commercial prospect for ship-owners, even as diesel prices fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shipowners need to be convinced that the electric charging infrastructure will be in place and that battery-powered vessels are both safe, and reliable. More broadly, they need to believe that zero-emission shipping is the future of the industry.

For the records, ZES was founded by ING bank, energy and technical service provider ENGIE, maritime technology company Wärtsilä and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

It also has the backing of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Heineken has signed on as the first customer for at least a decade.

This is a collaboration of very powerful companies, solid companies with known names, solid organisation and so on — the combination makes this potentially more successful than all the other initiatives.

…says Kempers.

Concluding, under ZES’ current plans, there will be 150 electric-powered ships using its batteries by 2030, requiring about 20 docking stations and 300 battery containers. This would go a significant way in reducing the carbon footprint of inland navigation in the Netherlands, which currently accounts for 5 percent of the Dutch transport sector’s carbon emissions.

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