First battery hybrid inland barge sails emission-free

Battery Hybrid Sendo Liner

First battery hybrid inland barge sails emission-free

Sendo Liner will sail through Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Friesland using EST-Floattech lithium batteries. It will be the first inland barge that can sail without emissions for longer periods of time, thanks to the battery pack.

The Sendo Liner, a 110 x 11.45-meter inland barge developed by Sendo Shipping and Concordia-Damen, will soon sail without emissions through the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Friesland.

The dry cargo vessel is equipped with electric motors powered by one of the two on-board Volvo Penta generators (435 kW each), or by the 546 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Oechies in cooperation with Holland Ship Propulsion (both with a wealth of experience in maritime battery-hybrid projects) were responsible for the early stages and accurate calculations, as well as the system integration.

“The Sendo Liner will use 30% less energy than other 110-meter vessels”, says Sebastiaan van der Meer from Sendo Shipping. “And since the ship can carry an extra container length, it will cut energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 40% per TEU.”

Low energy consumption and battery-powered operation

The low level of energy consumption is due in part to a more efficient hull design. A new tunnel form will improve the flow of water to the impellers. “That will make it possible to sail without emissions on battery power for up to three hours, at a speed of 13 kilometres per hour”, says Van der Meer. “We can even run the entire route on a single generator when weather permits. The battery pack will compensate for peak power demand.

And the vessel won’t have to use generator power while it’s waiting for locks or under the crane at a terminal, because the battery pack will be able to provide all the power the ship needs. That will make no-load power consumption a thing of the past.

And when the vessel operates at normal power, any excess power can be used to charge the batteries. That helps reduce emissions and generator consumption under all operating conditions.”

Business plan without subsidy

The choice for electric propulsion and the lithium-ion battery pack resulted in the ship being considerably more expensive than the original budget. “But we’ve turned an efficient low-budget ship into an ultra-efficient state-of-the-art vessel”, says Van der Meer. “Fortunately, we have the support of our client, MCS Meppel, for whom Sendo Shipping has been transporting containers for over 15 years. They’ve taken on some of the additional cost of facilitating emissions-free sailing.”

Sendo Shipping did not apply for a subsidy for the development of the Sendo Liner or the purchase of the battery pack. “We wanted to do this now, not in two years. In addition to the fact that subsidy applications are time-consuming and without guarantee of success, we’re convinced that low- or zero-emissions operations needs to be achieved without public money. It’s possible to draw up a good business plan without subsidies, as long as you think about the details in a responsible way.”

Future-proof inland barge

According to Van der meer, the electric system makes the ship more future-proof. “And once a company starts offering interchangeable battery containers, we can connect one directly to the system, so that we can sail emissions-free for longer, or maybe even all the time. In a few years, we might even be able to install a hydrogen fuel cell to provide the power.”

The main benefits are outlined below:

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by 40% per container;
  • Increased load capacity by approx. 100 tonnes;
  • Future-proof and ready for fuel cells and battery containers;
  • 2-3 hours emissions-free operations, and major reduction in no-load power;
  • Modular structure makes it easy to implement new changes.


About EST-Floattech

EST-Floattech is supplier and developer of high-quality battery- and energy storage systems. EST-Floattech serves the market with extremely safe and strictly and DNV-GL certified energy storage systems based on Lithium NMC technology.

Questions? Feel free to ask us