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Hydrogen-powered watertaxi christened in Rotterdam

Tuesday August 30th, the fully hydrogen-electric watertaxi ‘MSTX 22’ was christened at the Watertaxi headquarters in Rotterdam. The drivetrain, developed by the SWIM consortium, is powered by a zepp.Y50 fuel cell module. This is the first maritime application for this turnkey module by the Dutch fuel cell system designer and integrator.

The latest addition to the watertaxi fleet, with a capacity of up to 12 passengers, will be used for ferry services in the regular operations of Watertaxi Rotterdam. The 8.8m long vessel is fully hydrogen-electric and has a top speed of 13 knots (25km/h). Carrying 14 kg of hydrogen on board, the taxi has an operational autonomy of 9 hours at cruising speed, a full day of operations.

The project is a collaboration between Watertaxi Rotterdam and SWIM. This consortium, which consists of Enviu, Flying Fish and, kicked off the development of the drivetrain in early 2020. Within the project, was responsible for the development and integration of the hydrogen fuel cell system and hydrogen storage system.

This is the first maritime application for the Y50 turnkey module by the Dutch fuel cell system producer, after several successful projects in the heavy-duty and construction sector. The Y50 module is a turnkey fuel cell solution, containing all components, subsystems and control software necessary to turn hydrogen gas into electric power at maximum efficiency and operational robustness. Jonas Brendelberger, co-founder of ‘We’re very proud to see our zepp.Y50 module implemented in such an iconic application. I can’t think of a better way to kick off our maritime product line.’

Green hydrogen in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a global leader in the development of a (green) hydrogen infrastructure. The Port of Rotterdam Authority, energy company Uniper and Shell are already investing heavily in production facilities for green hydrogen on the Maasvlakte. Shell is planning on opening the first hydrogen factory here in 2023. The Port of Rotterdam Authority and Uniper want to have a second hydrogen factory operational by 2024, also on the Maasvlakte.

Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein expects that Rotterdam will be ‘a frontrunner in the whole world’ on this front by 2030. It fits into Castelein’s strategy to keep Rotterdam at the global top with digitization and clean energy sources as the best ‘smart’ and sustainable port. ‘There is so much knowledge and daring bundled together here: if we can’t do it, who can?’

‘It is amazing to see how Rotterdam entrepreneurs are energetically working on the energy transition in our city. Truly a first for Rotterdam’, says alderman Chantal Zeegers (Climate, Building and Living).

Public viewing at World Port Days

The hydrogen water taxi was christened on 29 August by Mrs Chantal Zeegers, alderman for Climate, Building and Living in Rotterdam.

The ship will be presented to the general public during the World Port Days on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September. Those days, the MSTX 22 is moored at the water taxi jetty in the Leuvehaven on the corner of Wolfshoek and Wijnhaven, where interested parties can come and have a look.

Read more about the Watertaxi and the SWIM-consortium on our SWIM project page.