Hydrogen passenger vessel scoops sustainability award

CMB has won the award with its Hydroville shuttle, the first passenger vessel to be powered by hydrogen CMB has won the award with its Hydroville shuttle, the first passenger vessel to be powered by hydrogen

The second Sustainability Award presented by the port of Antwerp has gone to the shipping group Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB).

With this award the three organisers – Antwerp Port Authority, the Scheldt Left Bank Corporation and Alfaport-Voka – seek to highlight sustainable initiatives by port users and to encourage sustainable enterprise by port companies. CMB has won the award with its Hydroville shuttle, the first passenger vessel to be powered by hydrogen. The catamaran vessel was built by Seawork International 2018 exhibitor BWSeacat in the UK.

Together with the points awarded by the jury, members of the general public voting online were able to determine that the Sustainability Award should go to CMB, making it a worthy successor to Ecluse, winner of the first award two years ago. The Antwerp-based shipping group was singled out for its Hydroville shuttle, the first passenger vessel to be powered by hydrogen. This is a pilot project that will serve as a testbed for hydrogen technology on a wider scale, thus contributing to more sustainable travel between home and work. In its citation the jury commended CMB for pioneering the way with this promising, future-oriented project which will act as a catalyst, lowering the barriers to entry for other players in the market. The jury also emphasised the significance of the project for other countries where hydrogen is seen as the fuel of the future.

As the second-ever winner of the Port of Antwerp Sustainability Award, CMB will now take its place alongside Ecluse with a specially designed stone along the ‘Walk of Sustainability’ at the foot of Port House.

Alexander Saverys, CEO of Compagnie Maritime Belge, for his part commented: "We are particularly gratified and proud with this Port of Antwerp Sustainability Award. With our investments in new, sustainable technologies such as the Hydroville we aim to make ourselves and the Antwerp maritime cluster ready for an exciting future. From its base in Antwerp, the beating heart of maritime Europe, CMB aims to further place its stamp on international shipping with innovative ship designs and the development of low-carbon energy sources."

By Jake Frith

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