Barge operators invited to test sustainable technologies

A European tender has opened for the operators in the inland shipping segment who wish to invest in sustainable technology. From 28 February until midday on 24 April 2017, they can apply to take part in the European project CLean INland Shipping (CLINSH), which will promote sustainable waterborne transport.

Inland shipping is an important link in the logistics chain. Barges transport large volumes of freight over long distances. If the sector is to maintain its key role in international logistics, operators must invest in cleaner technologies. This may entail replacing engines outright, modifying existing engines (‘retrofitting’) or converting them to run on an alternative fuel. The overall objective is to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulates, thus improving air quality for everyone. The international requirements for both energy efficiency and air quality are becoming ever more stringent. The market expects service providers to demonstrate good environmental performance, while some ports now restrict access to vessels which fail to meet certain standards.

The CLINSH trial will involve thirty vessels which will be selected by means of a European tender. There will be two groups:
a) 15 vessels in which owners will install an emissions-reducing technology, or which will be converted to run on an alternative fuel. The technologies to be tested are DPF-SCR, Fuel Water Emulsion, hybrid installations, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Gas-to-Liquids (GTL).
b) 15 vessels which already have an emissions-reducing technology installed, or run on an alternative fuel.

The successful tenders will be announced in mid-June 2017 and the trial itself begins in early September. Emissions will be closely monitored over a period of one to two years. This will yield valuable information about environmental performance and operating costs.

Why take part?
Owners who are selected to take part in the CLINSH project will receive financial compensation. The amounts payable include a subsidy of up to 50% of the actual costs of purchasing and installing the technology, together with an expenses allowance of up to €10,000 per vessel. Owners who already operate an emissions-reducing technology will be eligible for the allowance of up to €10,000 per vessel. Participants in the project will therefore be paid for the information they generate, which will be used to fast-track the transition to sustainable technologies throughout the inland shipping sector.
The project will also give them direct knowledge and experience regarding the various technologies and the environmental benefits they represent. Participants will be ‘trailblazers’ and may well gain a competitive advantage as they enjoy preferential treatment from clients and ports. Moreover, owners will receive payment today for modifications that are likely to become mandatory in future.

CLINSH is a demonstration project in which emissions-reducing technologies and alternative fuels are to be tested in practice. This will provide valuable information about their effectiveness and operating costs. CLINSH was officially launched on 1 September 2016 and is co-funded under the European Commission’s LIFE programme. The total project value is over €8.5 million, which will be invested by the 17 partners in various projects intended to increase the sustainability of the inland shipping sector.

If you are interested in taking part in the CLINSH trials, you can find further information at:

Or visit us on stand 561 at the Open Scheepvaartdagen event in Antwerp:

  • Friday 17 March at 18:30
  • Saturday 18 March at 15:00, 16:30 and 18:00
  • Sunday 19 March at 15:00 and 17:00.

For more information: