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Zero Emission Services (ZES)


Zero Emission Services (ZES) provides exchangeable energy containers for new and existing inland barges. These containers called ZES packs are charged with green electricity. Once depleted, the skippers can quickly exchange the containers for a fully charges one at one of the exchange and charging stations. These stations form a part of “open access” to the network as it can be used to stabilise the electricity grid or to supply a temporary local demand for electricity. ZES offers users a future-proof solution.

The Alphenaar is the first Dutch inland vessel to use interchangeable energy containers for propulsion. The Alphenaar sails with two ZESpacks on board between Alphen aan den Rijn and Moerdijk and can be loaded and exchanges at the first charging station at the CCT terminal in Alphen aan den Rijn.


Barges have a capacity varying from 500 to 1000 kW. With a Zespack of 2000kW, a barge can sail for 2 to 4 hours; with 2 ZESpacks on board, it can travel a distance of 60 to 120 km. Traditionally, barges used Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) but the inland transport industry’s move to a more sustainable industry, barges now use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Compared to HFO, the use of LNG allows substantial reductions of more than 99% Sulphur emissions, 80% for nitrogen oxides, most particulate matters, and also up to 20% for carbon dioxide.

However, a zero emission solution would create a huge strides in terms of sustainability in the inland transportation industry.

Zero Emission Services (ZES) is a state of the art technology in a standard 20ft container and charged with green electricity. It is currently using lithium-ion batteries, but it can easily be converted to other energy carriers like hydrogen when the technology becomes more affordable.

The benefits of using ZES include no emissions, efficient and quick to be charges and exchanged, affordable, future-proof, open access, and scalable. ZES saves 1000 tons of carbon dioxide and 7 tons of nitrogen oxide per year. The charging of the batter does not involve the charging to the ship. The batteries can be exchanged within 15 minutes on ZES’s energy centre. ZUS also set up a pay per use payment plan which means that there is no uncertain investments for companies. As mentioned previously, in time, other energy carries like hydrogen could be used to power the ZES packs. Multiple providers and modalities can use the ZES packs and charging stations. Last but not least, ZES is an all-in solution which mean it is a scalable solution for Zero Emission fuel.


The ZES pack for the application as barge fuel is guaranteed to last 10 years. After 10 years, the capacity of the batteries is reduced by about 20%. Use of the ZES pack for another 10 years is possible in numerous other applications. At the end of the lifespan, the materials can be recovered and made suitable for reuse. Due to the long service life of the ZES packs, the system saves far more in emissions then it costs to build the batteries.

Whenever the battery containers are not on board a barge, they can be used to stabilise the electricity grid. Grid stabilisation, the balance between supply and demand, is essential to make the electricity grid reliable. IN the future, the electricity supply will fluctuate more as energy is being drawn more on solar panels and windmills and less on power plants. Monitoring the grid stability wil then come to depend more often on smaller components, like batteries, boilers and heat pumps. ZES packs can also be employed to meet temporary demand for electricity.

ZES shows how one solution can be utilised in many different ways. This various use makes the solution efficient in terms of accessibility. Soon, many more charging stations will be available hence, this zero emission solution will be accessible to most.