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Air Liquide supplies the first hydrogen-powered vessel to navigate the Maas river

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Air Liquide and Future Proof Shipping (FPS) have successfully commissioned the world’s first hydrogen-powered container vessel - FPS Maas. This concrete implementation is a milestone on the path to the decarbonization of inland waterways, allowing the replacement of conventional fuel used in the shipping industry by hydrogen.

As part of a long-term agreement concluded in December 2021, Air Liquide will supply hydrogen through a specially designed hydrogen storage suited for inland shipping. Hydrogen is stored in compressed form in containers, which will be used as a hydrogen fuel tanks on-board. Once empty, the containers will be swapped with full ones, and transported to an Air Liquide filling center for refilling. The solution, designed by Air Liquide, allows quick and safe hydrogen refuelings.

Compared to conventional shipping, it enables the avoidance of CO2 emissions by about 2,000 tonnes/year for this first vessel. Moreover, hydrogen-powered mobility does not result in any particulate emissions such as soot or NOx (Nitrogen oxides) emissions. 

Starting in June 2023, the FPS Maas will transport containers between the Netherlands and Belgium, on the Maas river. The Air Liquide’s solution has been developed through a retrofit process and can be easily replicated to other ships, trains and other applications. 

Air Liquide and FPS also partner in several European-scale initiatives to decarbonise inland shipping, such as the RH2INE Programme (Rhine Hydrogen Integration Network of Excellence, endorsed by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management) or the RH2IWER consortium, supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership.