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PortLiner to Construct Electrolyte Bunkering Station in Hartelkanaal

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 21, 2023

Rendering of the electrolyte bunkering station (Photo: PortLiner)

Rendering of the electrolyte bunkering station (Photo: PortLiner)

The Port of Rotterdam Authority and inland shipping operator PortLiner signed a contract for the construction of a charging and storage pontoon for flow batteries in the Hartelkanaal.

From this bunkering station, PortLiner will supply electrically powered inland vessels with flow batteries. Construction is set to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with completion of the Netherlands’ first electrolyte bunkering station expected in Q1 of 2024.

Pioneer in zero-emission transport solutions
Due to growing demand for electrically powered inland vessels, PortLiner decided to expand its operations in the port of Rotterdam by constructing the electrolyte bunkering station. The Hartelkanaal was chosen as the site in the port of Rotterdam. The pontoon is to be supplied with green power (wind energy) from Greenchoice’s adjacent wind farm.

Flow batteries
Together with partners Vattenfall and Greenchoice, PortLiner has developed the concept for zero-emission shipping based on flow batteries. In flow batteries, electricity is charged in a liquid (electrolyte). On board a ship, the electricity is then extracted from the liquid and used to propel the ship. The discharged electrolyte is then exchanged for charged electrolyte and the discharged electrolyte is recharged.

Future-proof port
Within the Dutch transport sector, inland shipping is responsible for 5 percent of carbon emissions. So by transitioning to electric power, the inland shipping industry is making an important contribution to more sustainable shipping. Not only in terms of a reduction in CO2, but also by lowering concentrations of nitrogen and particulate matter.

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