ADM partners with HGK Shipping to charter a state-of-the-art barge with hybrid drive for its German supply chain

ADM partners with HGK Shipping to charter a state-of-the-art barge with hybrid drive for its German supply chain

At ADM we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions. This means thinking about how we can transport the goods along our supply chain in a more sustainable way, while ensuring the smooth movement of cargo. This is where hybrid technology comes into play.

Hybrid ships are vessels that combine multiple sources of power (for example, traditional diesel with electric battery power), resulting in reductions in fossil fuel consumption, carbon emissions and other pollutants. Underpinned by state-of-the-art engineering, the new generation of hybrid ships are at the vanguard of efficient, sustainable transport.

That's why ADM has partnered with HGK Shipping to charter a state-of-the-art barge with hybrid drive. This climate smart barge is being built this year and will be one of the first of its kind in Europe to transport dry goods.

Thanks to the hybrid drive, the barge will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% compared to current shipping benchmarks. The solar panels on the hatches can generate up to 90 MWh power and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70 tonnes per year.

The new hybrid barge is future-fuel ready. It is currently powered by a hybrid engine (diesel-electric drive) but is equipped for hydrogen power through a drag and drop system. This means it has designated hatches which are ready to receive tanks of hydrogen to power the vessel. 

The barge will initially be used to transport rapeseed from Rotterdam in the Netherlands to ADM's oil mill in Spyck with the potential to expand the route to ADM's facility in Mainz. Crucially for ADM's transport routes to Germany, the vessel is also optimised for low water - vital to safeguard continual transport operations for goods along the river Rhine, particularly if water levels are low. Shallow water levels are restricting these services more and more frequently, but with the addition of this new vessel, ADM will be equipped to handle these extreme situations as climate change intensifies.

The keel laying will take place in July this year. In October, the barge will passage to the Netherlands, and following a sea trial in April 2024 will be ready for its first load.

Chartering this new hybrid barge is part of the business' long-standing commitment to promote sustainable practices across its supply chain to protect the world's natural resources and build resilient systems. Back in 2014, ADM invested in three new post-Panamax dry-bulk vessels – Harvest Frost, Harvest Moon, and Harvest Rain – vessels which, at the time, were among the most fuel-efficient in the world, built with technology that offered high performance while offering the best available environmental footprint.

We have also been assessing our emissions from ocean freight through our membership in the Sea Cargo Charter which, aligned with the ambitions of the International Maritime Organization, aims to reduce shipping's GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050. We have made significant progress towards our decarbonization journey since we joined the Sea Cargo Charter. The framework provided by the initiative allowed us to measure our footprint and engage directly with our suppliers to reduce emissions. Now with a clear baseline in place, we are identifying actions to reduce our individual emissions and create a positive change for ourselves and the industry. Our partnership for a new hybrid vessel in Germany is one such example of the important next steps ADM is taking towards a more sustainable future.

More information about the barge can be found here.