PortLiner Introduces World’s First Electric Container Shipping


A Dutch company is working on reducing environmental emissions in inland waterways. Ton van Meegen created PortLiner when the Paris Agreement came into effect in 2015. He recognized that the times were changing towards a more ecological world.

Part of the Paris Agreement was for governments around the world to work on making the entire transport sector greener. So van Meegen decided to offer his own solution regarding greener shipping process.

The Dutch contribution

Authorities in the Netherlands are working on a Green Deal related specifically to the inland waterway sector. The government has already published the Climate Agreement in 2018, which represents the Dutch climate policy for the following years. It focuses on specific CO2 targets for 2030 and 2050, and allocated special “sub-targets” for various economy segments, including transport.

With this in mind, van Meegen, the CEO of Van Meegen Group of Companies (VMGoC) has decided to use his knowledge and experience in the nautical industry, its management, and inland shipping, to turn inland waterways “green”.

PortLiner’s solution

His solution includes the introduction of 100% CO2-free powered vessels. According to the company, PortLiner’s new all-electric battery technology called E-Powerbox and the specific application for ship propulsion in inland container shipping is a better solution than the other partially green alternatives. The most popular alternatives currently include Liquefied Natural Gas (for larger ships), hybrid (diesel-electrical), fuel-optimized engines with end-of-pipe treatment, and Euro VI engines.

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GVT x Port-Liner

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The fleet currently has two types of ships: the EC52-1 and the EC110. The EC52-1 is the smaller, multi-purpose ship for simultaneous transport of bulk and containers. It has a double hull and a smart ballast system for navigation and loading/unloading stability. It also has a modern propeller system, and a wheelhouse that moves up, down, and backward to power the barge.

Meanwhile, the EC110 holds its four E-Powerboxes under the wheelhouse, granting 8% more capacity for containers. These E-Powerboxes give a total of action radius of at least 14 hours which allows the ship to easily cover even the Rotterdam/Antwerp/Duisburg corridors. 

As for the plans for the future, the company is far from done. It is already working on a combination of its battery solution and hydrogen for even greener shipping.

YouTube: PortLiner electric Barge Omega Architects

Photo credits: The feature image has been taken by Daniel van den Berg.
Source: PortLinerUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change / Green Deals
Editorial notice: The feature image is not directly related to the report. This image has been chosen due to the lack of press material from PortLiner.

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Sead Fadilpasic
Sead Fadilpasic
Freelance writer / journalist / blogger. Tech enthusiast and gadget freak. Guitarist. Previously Al Jazeera journalist.
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