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Participate in Progress: Getting Hydrogen to Work

On 29th March 2022, e1 Marine hosted an event in Amsterdam “Participate in Progress: Getting Hydrogen to Work” and welcomed a wide range of industry stakeholders to discuss the viability of hydrogen as a sustainable future fuel for shipping. The event focused on three panel discussions which explored how vital supply chain components: inland waterway, ports, and shortsea and deep-sea shipping can mitigate the impact of carbon and other emissions today - while also optimizing energy use and spend – by utilizing hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The three panels covered the following topics:

The reality of achieving sustainable inland waterway shipping

550 million tonnes of cargo are shipped annually through Europe’s waterways alone by inland waterway tankers, barges and other vessels. Many were built long before sustainable operations became a priority. The panel discussed some of the historic challenges with alternative power sources. This included issues such as the requirement to recharge batteries daily keeping vessels on fixed routes and how the limited storage capacity on towboats restricts the use of pressurized or cryogenically stored gases as fuels.

However, hydrogen produced by onboard reformation of methanol and water can enable shipowners to stay ahead of the future requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII). It also allows owners and operators to take advantage of future decarbonization technologies as they mature, as highlighted by the world’s first methanol fueled towboat, M/V Hydrogen One, which will be IMO 2030 compliant, meet the USCG’s Subchapter M requirements, and have an operational range of 550 miles before refueling. Panelists

  • Austin Sperry, Managing Partner - Maritime Partners

  • Johan Burgren, Business Manager - PowerCell Sweden AB

  • Maite Klarup, Commercial Director - e1  Marine

  • David Lee, VP of Sales – Global Workboat Responsible, ABB


  • Alisdair Pettigrew, Director, BLUE Communications

The future of port power

While main engines are usually shut off during a ship’s stay at berth, a ship’s auxiliary engines are still operating to provide electricity for cargo equipment; ancillary equipment such as refrigeration and pumps; all hotel services; and its auxiliary boilers to keep fuel temperatures and the main engines’ cylinders warm; to generate inert gas required for safe oil handling. All EU ports will be required to have cold ironing provision by the end of 2025 as part of the EU’s Green Deal, while ESG pressure grows daily on ports.

With growing social, regulatory, and financial demands for greater sustainability, ports are looking to meet their dynamic energy demands in adaptive, flexible, and scalable ways. The panelists highlighted the potential for generating electricity in-port which can then meet a vast range of applications in addition to cold ironing for berthed ships. Providing electricity for ongoing port operations, BEV vehicles, drayage trucks and powering other port equipment brings additional potential and therefore reduces particulates, zero NOx, zero SOx, impacting large communities near ports too.


  • Mark Cameron, EVP & COO - Ardmore Shipping

  • Bryan Reid, Chief Sales Officer - RIX Industries

  • Mike Webber, Managing Partner - Armistead Street Capital Partners

  • David Lee, VP of Sales – Global Workboat Responsible, ABB


  • Alisdair Pettigrew, Director, BLUE Communications

Fuels of today and tomorrow for short-sea and deep-sea shipping Ocean-going shipping emits circa 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per annum, just under 3% of all man-made carbon emissions, but could change to 10% of all global emissions by 2050 based on current regulations. While the IMO has set targets for decarbonization, they are widely deemed to be too diluted to trigger significant behavioral change, and, from a regulatory perspective, there is a broader urgency from the likes of the EU to bring shipping under its ETS, proposed to begin in 2023. Meanwhile, financial stakeholders have adopted the Poseidon Principles, and charterers and shippers are driving forward with the Sea Cargo Charter – both delivering ‘demand side pull’ to shipowners and operators, as well as a signal to shipping from wider society.


  • Garry Noonan, Director of Innovation - Ardmore Shipping

  • Robert Schluter, Managing Director - e1  Marine

  • Matthías Ólafsson, Government & Public Affairs - Methanol Institute

  • Prasanna Colluru, Director Corporate Strategy - Future Proof Shipping


  • Alisdair Pettigrew, Director, BLUE Communications

The event discussions highlighted how hydrogen fuel, as a liquid or compressed gas, has always been challenging and expensive to transport and bunker. However, methanol is a game-changer for hydrogen generation – due to its ready availability, low cost, hydrogen density, environmental friendliness, and ease of transport and storage. The event concluded with the remarks that innovation is key and, as the maritime industry experiences rapid transformation, hydrogen can make changes today.

Read more about the e1 Marine methanol to hydrogen technology here for more information:


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