Port of Amsterdam – Neo Orbis hydrogen vessel

The Port of Amsterdam is partner to the Interreg North-West Europe H2SHIPS project (2019-2023) that demonstrates the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping and identifies the conditions for successful market entry of the technology.

As part of its involvement to H2SHIPS, the Port of Amsterdam is building an innovative hydrogen powered port vessel, the first ship in the world that will sail on Sodium Borohydride (NaBH4), a form of hydrogen-based fuel. The representation vessel “Neo Orbis” will be used to sail the port’s guests through the port and the canals of Amsterdam. The vessel will be completely emission-free and silent, operating with a battery and a fuel cell.

The ship will have an electric engine and use NaBH4, a powder diluted in water which allows for safe storage and has a high flame point, as a solid hydrogen carrier for charging its batteries. With the Neo Orbis the Port of Amsterdam wants to boost the hydrogen economy in the region and to prove that innovative sailing in a circular way and using zero carbon fuel is feasible. The operational sailing experience with this innovative hydrogen solution is expected to enable a quick implementation of this technology on board of other ship types, especially other inland vessels. Neo Orbis will be the first ship in the world to be using NaBH4, a solid form of hydrogen-based fuel.

After the finalization of its design in 2020, Neo Orbis is currently being build at the ship yard and expected to sail by the end of 2023.  The intention is for the ship to become an example for regional economy and the shipping industry and to boost the use of hydrogen as a fuel for shipping.