IHC Merwede is delighted to announce that alternative fuels have been used in the dredging process for the first time. The company ran a pilot test in which energy derived from hydrogen was the sole source used to power the electrical equipment on board a dredger.
The sustainable energy test took place at the Haringvliet estuary in The Netherlands with one of the latest generation of standard cutter suction dredgers: the IHC Beaver® 40. The hydrogen energy was supplied by the Purity fuel cell generator that has been developed by Bredenoord.
Connecting a fuel cell to a dredger had not been tested previously and it needed to operate under the difficult conditions that are typical of the dredging process – vibrations, dust, water, frost and wave motion. The fuel cell successfully powered the dredger for approximately 120 hours. IHC Merwede Manager of Projects & Development Marcel Boor says, “The pilot test demonstrates that alternative energy sources can be applied to power dredgers.”
The electrical equipment on the current line-up of ships is powered by diesel generators, which results in the emission of harmful substances. The use of fuel cells is emission free, as the hydrogen is converted into heat, electricity and clean water.
One of IHC Merwede’s main aims is to construct sustainable vessels. The new IHC Beaver® 40 for example has been fitted with LED lighting and the use of high-grade materials means that these ships require less maintenance.
“Worldwide dredging projects need to meet increasingly stringent environmental demands,” says Dingeman van Woerden, Head of Product Development at IHC Merwede. “Our customers ask us to come up with solutions on a wide range of dredging tasks and this successful test is another step closer to sustainable dredging.”
Paul Schurink, Bredenoord’s Business Development Manager, shares IHC Merwede’s enthusiasm for the project, “It was important to find out how the Purity would perform on a surface that was moving and vibrating.
“The fact that the fuel cell aggregate held up well under these circumstances means this hydrogen solution is suitable for a broad range of applications. The positive outcome of the test shows that the mobile hydrogen technique – developed by Bredenoord – can also be used in the offshore sector. In this way, the innovative aggregate contributes to the necessary transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
Company profile IHC Merwede
IHC Merwede is focussed on the continuous development of design and construction activities for the specialist maritime sector. It is the global market leader for efficient dredging and mining vessels and equipment – with vast experience accumulated over decades – and a reliable supplier of custom-built ships and supplies for offshore construction.
IHC Merwede has in-house expertise for engineering and manufacturing innovative vessels and advanced equipment, as well as providing life-cycle support. Its integrated systematic approach has helped to develop optimum product performance and long-term business partnerships. The company’s broad customer base includes dredging operators, oil and gas corporations, offshore contractors and government authorities.
IHC Merwede has over 3,000 employees based at various locations in The Netherlands, China, Croatia, France, India, the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Technological innovation will remain the company’s underlying strength through its continuous investment in research and development. Moreover, it helps to safeguard a sustainable environment.
Company profile Bredenoord
Bredenoord is a family company that has been involved in the rental, sales and production of mobile energy in The Netherlands and beyond for over 70 years. Bredenoord serves a wide range of markets, including the offshore industry, through rental and sales of generators and emergency generators. In addition, Bredenoord develops sustainable solutions such as particle filters and biogas CPH units, which allow clients to choose mobile energy from a range of fuels and with different emission levels. This spring Bredenoord was awarded the prestigious European Rental Award.