Netherlands shipbuilder Royal IHC has recently received an ‘approval in principle’ (AiP) from Bureau Veritas for the design of a hydrogen-fuelled trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD). In an innovation partnership with the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat, Royal IHC is exploring a new type of vessel referred to as the ‘LEAF’ (low energy adaptive fuel) hopper.
The AiP from Bureau Veritas means that the proposed design of the vessel, encompassing its features and specifications, has been deemed acceptable in this early stage and that the hydrogen system has been safely integrated. The exploration phase began at the beginning of 2019 with the aim of developing a vessel that can be operational in 2024.
Rijkswaterstaat has the ambition to become CO2 neutral by 2030 and needed to come up with cost-effective solutions for its coastal protection projects that could significantly reduce CO2 from 2024. With this in mind, Royal IHC has been developing a hydrogen-powered TSHD that is designed to be used to maintain the Dutch coastline. The LEAF hopper will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as harmful exhaust gas emissions in close proximity to the coast and coastal cities. When operating on hydrogen the vessel emits only water vapour.
A minimal amount of CO2, SOx, NOx and particulate matter is released only during the construction of the vessel and in producing green hydrogen. In addition, many design features on the LEAF hopper contribute to low energy consumption, including an electric drive train and energy recovery systems.
The receipt of the AiP gives Royal IHC and Rijkswaterstaat the confidence to continue on the path towards zero emissions and further develop the LEAF hopper as a solution for CO2 neutral coastal protection works.