French transport group Sogestran, through its subsidiary Compagnie Fluvial de Transport, expects to have a hydrogen fuel cell-propelled pushtug in operation on the Rhone river between Marseille and Lyon by the third quarter of next year. A design for the tug has been completed and a builder is expected to be selected shortly.
The building contract will be supported by a $7.3 million grant to be provided by the European Union’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking within its Horizon 2020 project. The new tug will be equipped with a mobile fuel tank that will hold compressed green hydrogen created at an electrolysis plant that will take its power from a hydroelectric dam on the Rhone. A second tank will be available for use while the first one is refilled, with both tanks having enough capacity to power the tug for two weeks.