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Emissions monitoring phase for CLINSH project begins

The vessels which will take part in the EU co-funded CLINSH project (CLean INland SHipping) have been selected. Their emissions will be closely monitored during the two-year project, part of the European Union’s LIFE programme. The vessels are to test various emissions-reducing technologies including the use of alternative fuels. The data gathered will provide valuable information about their environmental performance and the operating costs.

According to the CLINSH project, the European inland shipping sector has almost 15 000 vessels and a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and particulate matter (PM). Here a barge loaded with reclaimed woodchips in the Port of Rotterdam.

The overall purpose of the CLINSH project is to create a fully sustainable inland shipping sector, which entails reducing emissions of hazardous substances such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). The selected barge operators were presented at a launch meeting hosted by the Port of Antwerp, Belgium on October 27.

The inland shipping sector carries cargo to and from all parts of the European hinterland and is therefore crucial to the maritime ports. Like all other transport modalities, it must reduce harmful emissions. By taking part in this project, Port of Antwerp wishes to accelerate sustainable transition in close cooperation with the inland shipping, said Marc Van Peel, President of the Antwerp Port Authority.

European tender

The vessels taking part in the project were selected by means of a European tender. They fall into two categories:

  1. vessels which are to be fitted with an emissions control system for the purposes of the project. The technologies to be tested include SCR-DPF (Selective Catalytic Reduction in combination with a Diesel Particulate Filter), Fuel Water Emulsion technology and hybrid power installations. Some vessels will be adapted to run on an alternative fuel such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or Gas to Liquid (GtL) fuel.
  2. vessels in which such measures have already been applied.

Data-gathering phase

The practical trials will commence in early 2018 once all the necessary modifications have been made. Data collected during regular operations will provide useful information for the sector itself and for public sector authorities at all levels: local, regional, national and international.

The knowledge gained will support new policy intended to reduce harmful emissions. CLINSH will also reveal the economic implications for owners and operators, presenting the business case for sustainability measures.

To remain competitive, the sector must invest in cleaner vessels. We need people to lead the way, and we have found them in the operators taking part in the practical trials. The knowledge they develop will allow us to make an important contribution to a cleaner living environment, said Rik Janssen, Regional Minister of the Province of Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands and lead partner in the CLINSH project.

Participation in CLINSH will provide owners and operators with new knowledge about the various technologies available and the environmental benefits they offer. Improved environmental performance is likely to increase an operator’s market appeal and help to attract new customers.

Several large companies have already decided to award contracts to operators who are able to demonstrate their environmental responsibility. Investment in emissions control systems is an investment in long-term business continuity.

Moreover, project participants become eligible for a grant towards the cost of modifications which are likely to become mandatory in future. Alain Devos, Director of the Flanders Inland Shipping Knowledge Centre (KBV) believes that the strength of the CLINSH project lies in the close collaboration between the partners.

Public sector authorities and research institutes are no longer working in isolation but are actively working together with the sector to achieve long-term sustainability, said Devos.

About CLINSH

CLINSH (CLean INland SHipping) is an EU-funded demonstration project which will assess the effectiveness of emissions control technology, alternative fuels and shoreside power systems.

Officially launched on September 1, 2016, it has 17 project partners have committed to investments totalling over EUR 8.5 million, with co-financing provided by the European Union’s LIFE programme. The various project activities are designed to increase the long-term sustainability of the inland shipping sector.

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