The target is to have at least 10 vessels running on hydrogen along the Rhine-Alpine Corridor – the main freight route between the port of Rotterdam and Cologne – by 2024. This requires three hydrogen refuelling stations along the way.

In the following years, the number of stations will be expanded so that hydrogen-powered freight vessels can continue to Genoa. To enable the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel, twenty parties – from both the public and private sectors – have joined forces in the RH2INE (Rhine Hydrogen Integration Network of Excellence) alliance.

The European grant will be used to fund research into which hydrogen refuelling stations are best suited for this purpose, hydrogen technology and which legislation will be required in the various countries and locations to allow inland vessels to switch to hydrogen.

The network members also intend to learn from each other via RH2INE. They will achieve this by exchanging knowledge regarding the use of hydrogen in inland shipping. Each of these parties plays a role in a future hydrogen economy, from production to distribution to its utilisation in shipping.

Regarding the European Commission, the RH2INE grant application came at an excellent time. It aligns with Brussels’ sustainability targets in its search for alternative fuels and opportunities to raise sustainability after the COVID-19 crisis, says the Port of Rotterdam.

Hydrogen is an inextricable part of the future economy and is one of the key solutions for the cleaner transport of heavy cargo across longer distances

highlighted Floor Vermeulen, the Member of the Provincial Executive of Zuid-Holland responsible for traffic and transport.