“Sendo Liner”: world’s first emission-free container vessel

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Sendo Shipping


Inland Shipping


The Netherlands

Battery capacity

546 kWh

Battery solution

Green Orca





EST-Floattech powers KNVTS award winning vessel

In February 2019, Sendo Shipping launched the world’s first hybrid inland waterway container ship “Sendo Liner”. The Sendo Liner, a 110 x 11.45-meter inland barge developed by Sendo Shipping and shipyard Concordia-Damen, sails without emissions. This was a first important step in the Inland Waterway industry, proving that electric sailing is possible. Sendo Liner sails through Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Friesland using EST-Floattech lithium-ion batteries.

Emission-free sailing for up to 3 hours and 40% less emissions

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

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Low energy consumption thanks to our battery solution

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

That makes 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.

The ship can sail a part of its route fully electrically powered. In addition, the vessel doesn’t have to use generator power while it’s waiting for locks to open or under a terminal crane, because the battery pack provides all the power the ship needs.

Customer benefits

Reduction of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption – both by 40%
Increased load capacity by approx. 100 tonnes
Future-proof and ready for fuel cells and battery containers
Up to 3 hours emission-free operations
Major reduction in no-load power
Modular structure makes it easy to implement new changes

Business plan without subsidy

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 need 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” says Van der Meer. “We’ve turned an efficient low-budget ship into an ultra-efficient state-of-the-art vessel.”

“The Sendo Liner uses 30% less energy than other 110-meter vessels and cuts energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 40% per TEU”, continues Sebastian van der Meer, Director at Sendo Shipping

Successor vessels “Sendo Mare” and “Sendo Nave”

Originally, Sendo Liner’s two sister vessels Sendo Mare and Sendo Nave were to sail with the aid of containerised battery technology. With that technology still under construction, Van der Meer decided to choose a similar battery solution as that of the Sendo Liner:

“We have designed a package with two strings of each seventeen modules, resulting in a capacity of 357 kWh. The vessels can sail fully electrical, but the extra battery power comes in handy, especially while manoeuvring.  Soon we will be able to use one generator to sail 90 percent of the time with a vessel of 5,000 tons.”

Future-proof inland barge

According to Van der Meer, the electric system makes the ships more future-proof. “Once the interchangeable battery containers are fully developed, we can connect one directly to the system in order to sail emission-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.

EST-Floattech is involved in these developments.

Sendo Liner, KNVTS ship of 2019

The Sendo Liner received the prestigious ‘Ship of the Year’ Award in 2019 and was praised by the jury for its innovative features and emission reductions.

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