Innovative Inland Navigation
Start date: Sep 30, 2009,
End date: Jun 30, 2012
The aim of the project is to address the attractiveness of small waterways in NWE. To do this we aim at building on to the results of the ECSWA-project (also called WATERSLAG in Dutch) which was financed by INTERREG III-B. ECSWA demonstrated the feasibility of transporting containers and bulk in two coupled barges. The economic advantages and societal benefits of coupling existing barges were proven in test runs in Flanders and the Netherlands. To summarize: consumption of gasoil was substantially reduced. which had an effect on the exploitation costs of the vessels. As a result. freight rates dropped and cargo was shifted to waterways. This in turn decreased the negative external effects (emissions. accidents. ..) of road transport. After the successful finalization of ECSWA. the inland navigation sector has taken up the results of the project. Coupled barges are currently more and more introduced. The current project. INLANAV (Innovative Inland Navigation). is aiming at: 1. Demonstrating that the ECSWA-barges cover to the full extent the freight market. including palletized cargo and big bags. 2. Developing second-generation ECSWA-barges by using the latest technological and logistics knowhow. 3. Harmonizing manning and exploitation rules throughout NWE to facilitate and smoothen trans-regional flows and an international exploitation of the INLANAV-vessels. Expected Results: Objective 1) Demonstrating that ECSWA-barges cover to the full extent the freight market, including big bags and palletized cargo. This objective will be reached through 3 actions. First of all, concrete unitized flows with a potential for a shift to inland navigation will be identified. Secondly, the technical feasibility of the crane barge concept will be examined by setting up a technical task force. Thirdly, transnational test runs will be organized. Objective 2) Developing second-generation ECSWA (innovative and environmental friendly) coupled units using the latest technological and logistics knowhow. This objective entails two actions. Firstly, three promising innovative but isolated concepts for small barges are identified. (Universiteit Antwerpen, Schipco bv, Research Small Barges/Q-Barge) These concepts range from push barge concepts driven by electric engines powered by either batteries or a generator to the realization of an automatically guided barge with a greater hold. By providing a synergetic and cooperative platform the progress of these concepts can be monitored. After one year, we will look for commonalities and best practices that may lead to concrete actions. Secondly, business plans will be drawn up to facilitate market take up. Objective 3) Harmonizing manning and exploitation rules throughout NWE to facilitate and smoothen trans-regional flows and an international exploitation of the INLANAV-vessels. This entails 2 actions: Firstly, the creation of a country inventory on the legal framework. Secondly, giving input to the national and international policy makers with a view of harmonizing this framework.
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