Organisers of the CLean INland SHipping pilot project, or CLINSH, report that six new vessels have been accepted into the fleet that is helping to field-test various emission control technologies and alternative fuel types, to assess how this ‘green’ tech performs “in actual practice”. Backed by the EU’s long-running LIFE programme, CLINSH is currently operating on a budget of at least €8.5 million (US$9.7 million) and is supported by 18 partners, drawn from Germany, Benelux and the UK. Partners include: Newcastle University and Marine South East (UK); the Port of Antwerp (Belgium); and CE Delft (the Netherlands).
Monitoring equipment, intended to keep track of emissions on an ongoing basis, is being installed on all 41 participating vessels. A spokesperson for Marine South East says: “The trial is expected to yield invaluable information about the environmental performance and operating costs associated with the various technologies.” These technologies comprise different engines, fuels and equipment types (such as catalysers and diesel particulate filters, for example). Some of the EU funding has been directed to the shipowners to cover costs related to vessel modification when placing these solutions on board.
All data collected by the vessels will be made available to “skippers and authorities, financial institutions and interest groups that want to contribute to a more sustainable inland shipping industry”, the Marine South East spokesperson adds. This could help the development of new guidelines for inland waterway operations – which, if adopted by shipowners, might lead to reciprocal benefits, such as reduced berthage and port charges.