The Maritime Masterplan is the vision to make 30 Dutch vessels of all types emission free by 2030. PortXL is assisting the Masterplan consortia with finding the right innovators that can support this noble project. Can your solution make an impact? Details and application form for start-ups and scale-ups at the bottom of the article.

The world is facing a huge sustainability challenge. The maritime sector is no exception to the necessary energy transition to a climate-neutral society. Whilst a globally growing economy leads to greater demand for the transport of goods, the goals from the Paris Climate Agreement and the subsequent agreement of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requires a 50% reduction of CO2-emissions from maritime transport by 2050 compared to the level of 2008.

Several stakeholders (including policy makers, engine manufacturers, ship building companies and research institutes) are working on the development of new alternative fuels and energy carriers for shipping, such as methanol, hydrogen, various biofuels, and battery-electric systems. There remains significant uncertainty as to which are the best options for the short as well as the longer term, and what the best options are for different ship segments (e.g., short sea or intercontinental freight transport, naval vessels or passenger ships). Solutions for shipping segments for the short term should contribute to a significant reduction in CO2-emissions, but also should be compliant with regulations on air pollutants such as the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap and NOx Emission regulations.

Roadmap for the 2030 Maritime Masterplan

Introducing the Masterplan

Thirty Dutch emission-free civilian example ships in 2030. That is the goal of the ‘Masterplan for an emission-free maritime sector’ and thus forms the run-up to a long-term increase in scale of the greening of Dutch shipping. Central to the plan is the financing and development of technologies to bring almost 100% emission-free ships into service, for example by setting up some thirty pilot projects for both sea and inland shipping. The role of the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Rijkswaterstaat is special, as they want to participate in this process as launching customers.

The recovery after the corona pandemic offers an opportunity to accelerate the maritime energy transition. The Dutch maritime sector, including the sea and inland ports, guarantees approximately 680,000 jobs and 72 billion euros a year in added value for the Dutch economy. In 2019, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management concluded a national Green Deal for Sea Shipping, Inland Shipping and Ports. The green deal includes ambitions and goals to meet the climate targets. The maritime master plan follows this up as a concrete roadmap to 2030.

Masterplan Meeting with PortXL

Finding the next fuel for maritime

Moving to emission-free ships is one side of the coin, the other is what fuel to use to power them. There is no clear industry choice yet, with wind power, ammonia, hydrogen, and methanol all among the options for alternatives from fossil fuels.

To further complicate the matter, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Different vessels have different energy needs, and the goal of the Maritime Masterplan is to discover the best fuel for each vessel type and whether it is scalable. All kinds of vessels are included in this program, inland, coastal, ferries, dredging vessels and so forth.

For this purpose, variety in the energy sources is key for propulsion. An added benefit of this policy is that it reduces future dependency on one energy source should multiple alternatives be found to be effective.

Discovering methanol innovators

Multiple consortia formed around the alternative fuel topic within the Maritime Masterplan umbrella. One of them is focused on methanol, which it considers the best alternative compared to hydrogen and ammonia following a series of tests. The methanol consortium consists of major Dutch companies in energy, shipbuilding, dredging, shipping, and research.

PortXL has been tasked to assist the consortium by finding innovators with solutions that fit the projects within the methanol research and testing. Are you a start-up or scale-up that can assist with the process and/or make it more efficient? Then follow the steps below to make full use of the PortXL process to present your solution in front of the consortium.

How to apply as a start-up / scale-up

1) Access the form via the button below and fill it in.

2) Your solution will be part of a report presented to the members of the consortium.

3) The consortium will make a shortlist of their preferred solutions.

4) Shortlisted companies will be invited to a validation call (a 30-minute online session where the start-up / scale-up will have 5 minutes to pitch their solution and 25 minutes for a Q&A with representatives of the consortium).

5) If the solution is a good fit, a deal will be worked out between consortium & start-up / scale-up. PortXL steps out at this stage.

The start-up / scale-up can either provide a service to the consortium or become part of the consortium itself. However, the latter must happen before the subsidy program closes in mid-august 2021 and that requires an investment of €125k and other requirements. For the service providing, there are no such requirements and the start-up / scale-up can step in at any moment during the project.

PortXL takes no fee from the start-ups / scale-ups.