Rouen's river port will host the first high-powered hydrogen refueling barge

First in France: high-powered barge will deliver hydrogen to docked ships

First in France: high-powered barge will deliver hydrogen to docked ships

The new vessel is expected to contribute to the general decarbonization of port processes

The Rouen river port, in France, will be the test bed for the trial of a new barge, which will supply docked ships with high-power hydrogen fuel cells. This was announced after the signing of a memorandum that envisions the creation of the future vessel to be commissioned in the year 2025.

The power supply barge, called ELEMANTA H2, will be a first for France. Once developed, it will serve as a replicable role model for veritable decarbonization of port operations as maritime transport is increasingly adopting the idea of hydrogen power as a source for mobility.

The maritime power supply of tomorrow

ELEMANTA H2 will carry a high-power hydrogen fuel cell system manufactured in France by HDF Energy, which is one of the partners in the agreement document. In addition, high-pressure green hydrogen storage will cover the need for autonomy during stopovers. 

The demonstrator barge offers a carbon-free alternative to the diesel generator vessels that currently supply ships at berth. The new vessel will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 85 percent and all nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide emissions (SO2) generated in stopovers. 

The barge will perform what in naval terms is known as bunkering – in other words ‘fuel supply’. It will carry and embed hydrogen fuel cells in ships that use green hydrogen either as their main source of power or as a backup source of power (hybrid type).

The maritime and river transport sector needs to accelerate its energy transition, given that it accounted for 13.5% of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. That transformation process, however, also includes port activities, where smaller vessels servicing their larger counterparts are mostly powered by fossil fuels.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU