Start of measurements CLINSH project clean inland shipping

Regional Minister Rik Janssen attended the consortium meeting of the CLean Inland SHipping project in Antwerp, Belgium, in his capacity of Chairman of the Steering Committee.

Clean Inland Shipping, for short: CLINSH, is a project subsidised by EU LIFE subsidies. The project is being implemented by 18 partners from 4 member states and aims to measure the real-time effect of the sustainability measures on the air quality.

The inland shippers participating in the EU LIFE CLINSH project are known. CLINSH aims to achieve sustainable inland shipping.

Over a period of 2 years, the 'real-time’ emissions of the participating vessels will be measured on board. This provides valuable information on their environmental performance and the operational costs when using various emissions-curbing techniques and alternative fuels. To achieve this, the emissions of harmful substances (nitric oxides and particulates) have to be reduced. The selected inland shipping vessels were presented during a festive gathering in the port of Antwerp on 27 October 2017.

European tendering

The vessels have been selected in a European tendering process and are divided into 2 categories:

  1. a) an initial group of vessels, to be fitted by their owners with emissions-curbing technology or alternative fuel. Examples of these are the aftertreatment system SCR-DPF (the advanced catalyst combined with soot filters), Fuel Water Emulsion, hybrid installations, Liquefied Natural Gas, or Gas to Liquid Fuel; and
  2. b) a second group of vessels that already uses emissions-curbing technology or alternative fuels.

Data collection and knowledge generation

After the necessary adaptations of the vessels, the practical tests will commence in the early part of 2018. The data collected on board will provide a 'toolbox’ for local, regional, national, and international policymakers and governments. With these data, they can develop new policies on emissions-curbing for existing inland shipping vessels. In addition, CLINSH maps the business cases of the various measures for the shipping industry, so as to encourage the fleet to become even more sustainable. Regular updates on the interim results will be given via the CLINSH site, press releases and during meetings.

Participation in the project nets the skipper knowledge of the various techniques and the achieved environmental advantages. Good environmental performances could mean an advantage to the skipper, for instance, when acquiring cargo. Various large companies have already decided to choose eco-friendlier vessels when putting cargo out to tender. Participating skippers invest in the future deployability of their vessels, and may obtain compensation from CLINSH for adaptations that will become mandatory in the future. In doing so, they have a pioneering role within the industry.

Rik Janssen, Regional Minister of the Province of Zuid-Holland; CLINSH’ lead partner: “To remain competitive in the future, the inland shipping has to invest in cleaner vessels right now. We need pioneers such as the skippers that are now taking part in the practical test by CLINSH. They are collecting the data with which we can make a major contribution to a cleaner living environment.”

Marc Van Peel, Chairman of the Antwerp Port Authority, maintains:  “Inland shipping is crucial to the European harbours to transport the many goods to and from destinations in Europe. Just as any other modes of transport, inland shipping has to reduce its harmful emissions. By its participation in this project, the port of Antwerp, in close cooperation with the inland shipping industry, will contribute to an acceleration in the reduction of these emissions.”

According to Alain Devos, director of Kenniscentrum Binnenvaart Vlaanderen, the power of a project such as CLINSH is that “governments, port authorities and research institutions no longer work separately, but with inland shipping entrepreneurs on a greener inland shipping”


CLINSH is a showpiece project that maps the efficiency and costs of emissions-curbing techniques, alternative fuels and shore-power in practice. CLINSH officially started on 1 September 2016, supported by the European LIFE Fund. The total projects costs exceed € 8.5 million, which 17 partners in cooperation with the European LIFE Fund invest in various projects in support of a sustainable inland shipping.