In the near future, some seven inland vessels will be fitted with measurement instruments that allow them to record their on-board emission levels. The experiment is part of the ‘Continuous On-Board Analysis and Diagnosis’ (COBALD) Green Deal, which was signed by the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Schultz van Haegen, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Kamp, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and various organisations involved directly or indirectly in inland shipping.
If successful, the COBALD initiative will be a major step forward when it comes to improving the environmental impact of the inland shipping sector. The system allows inland vessels to measure their own energy consumption and emissions of harmful substances and use this data to make their transports cleaner and more efficient. This is mainly relevant for ships with older engines – which often still work well and have years of service life left in them – wanting to improve their environmental performance without having to replace the existing engine.
‘More efficient, cleaner and more economical’
Schultz: “To maintain inland shipping’s competitive edge, it is vital that we improve its environmental performance. After installing instruments suited for the on-board measurement of energy consumption and emissions, we can determine which measures and investments are most effective. This will take us a step closer to more efficient, cleaner and – let’s not forget – more economical transport by water.”
Signatories to the Green Deal
In addition to the two ministries and the Port Authority, the Green Deal was signed by Koninklijke BLN-Schuttevaer, the Dutch Central Office for Rhine and Inland Navigation (CBRB), MARIN, Blueco Benelux BV, the Association of Importers of Combustion Engines (VIV), Stichting Green Award, STC-Nestra, TNO, SGS Nederland BV, ECN, Expertise- en InnovatieCentrum Binnenvaart, EVO and Stichting Maritime Monitoring Institute.
The trial results will be evaluated in the fourth quarter of 2018 at the latest.