The BEHALA – Berliner Hafen- und Lagerhausgesellschaft mbH has announced the construction of what will be the world’s first zero-emission pusher boat, being named ELEKTRA.

For the first time, the energy supply on the canal pusher boat will be provided solely by means of gaseous hydrogen, fuel cells and accumulators. Construction is scheduled to commence in October 2019 and completion by the shipyard is slated for the fourth quarter of 2020. The ELEKTRA is to be used primarily for freight transport on the Berlin-Hamburg route and for inner-city services in Berlin.

Under the project leadership of the Department of Design and Operation of Maritime Systems (Prof. Gerd Holbach) of the TU Berlin, the companies BEHALA (port and logistics service provider), Schiffswerft Herrmann Barthel (shipping yard), BALLARD Power Systems (fuel cells), Anleg (hydrogen tanks), Schiffselektronik Rostock (maritime electronics), EST-Floattech (accumulators) and Imperial logistics (shipping company) are involved as partners in the development and construction of ELEKTRA.

Through this project, the above-mentioned partners are directly contributing to the climate policy goals of the Federal Republic of Germany in inland waterway transport.

The ELEKTRA will set an example as a zero-emission ship with regard to ecological requirements, especially within sensitive regions (e.g. metropolitan areas such as Berlin/Brandenburg, Hamburg and the Rhine-Ruhr region).

Alongside the construction and testing of the ELEKTRA, accompanying infrastructural measures in the area of electricity and hydrogen supply will be also be simultaneously conducted in the inland waterways operating area of the ELEKTRA.

With a total project volume of approx. €13 million, the project is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) with funding of approx. €8 million and is being supervised and coordinated by project administrator Jülich (PtJ) and the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW GmbH).