Why do a pilot project?

Converting to hydrogen would require significant investment and is not yet economically viable for the shipping industry. We can't really expect the industry to make this investment immediately, or even in the next few years. Add the Corona crisis to the situation and it's pretty obvious to everyone that the financial resources will not be available for quite some time in the future.

The ZEPS Pilot Project aims to make the technology affordable. Alongside this, we have close contact with the developments in infrastructure: Hydrogen production will need to be 'green' in the coming years; charging points along the waterways need to be expanded to an efficient network; and eventually, hydrogen should be made affordable.

The ZEPS pilot project should guide shipping policy at a national and European level.


Because the plans for new-build ships are still based on fossil-fuel propulsion, the SCS wants to start a pilot project for the development of a completely zero emission passenger ship, based on an existing traditional passenger ship. The MPS (Motor Passenger Ship) Patria will be converted into the ZEPS (Zero Emission Passenger Ship) Patria by replacing the old diesel engines with propulsion using the latest hydrogen technology. The Patria will also be made self-sufficient by using solar and wind energy for the remaining energy needed on board. SCS een pilot project starten voor de ontwikkeling van een volledig emissievrij passagiersschip, waarbij  een bestaand traditioneel passagiersschip als basis dient: De MPS (Motor Passenger Ship) Patria. Dit schip wordt doorontwikkeld naar het ZEPS (Zero Emission Passenger Ship) Patria. Dit gebeurt door de oude dieselmotoren van de Patria te vervangen door aandrijving middels de modernste waterstoftechnologie. Daarnaast wordt de Patria zelfvoorzienend, door voor de overige benodigde energie aan boord gebruik te maken van zonne- en windenergie.


The ZEPS Patria serves as a pilot for switching from traditional to modern systems, using sustainable and zero-emission technology and replacing old technology. The project will serve as a model to the industry:

  1. Adapt existing passenger ships to modern, zero-emission technology.
  2. Develop a broad spectrum of back-up energy technology that can be applied to new-build ships in the future.

The big challenges

  • How do we adapt the drive energy for the ZEPS?
  • What does the battery concept look like and how does it fit into the ZEPS so that energy storage meets the total energy requirement?
  • What infrastructure is needed to enable ZEPS to cover sufficient distances?


Important factors:

  • What does the ideal zero-emission technical concept for passenger ships look like?
  • How can we get the range of the ZEPS to a sufficient level?
  • What is economically feasible in the medium and longer-term?
  • What is the economic feasibility of back-up energy concepts, like solar panels, for example?
  • How fast is the infrastructure developing in the field of hydrogen fuel? Could ZEPS Patria sail through Europe in 2023?
2023 | From MPS to ZEPS