Feasibility studies for hydrogen fueling of river boats

Design Transportation France

Context and challenges

The customer, a major maritime hub, is today France's leading river port complex, with more than 20 million tons transported per year by waterway and 8 million passengers moving from land to water in 2015, the second in Europe for the transit of goods and the first in the tourism sector in the world. Its facilities are spread in France over 70 ports along the Seine, Marne and Oise rivers.

In a context where France aims to achieve carbon neutrality of mobility by 2050 and where the City of Paris has set itself the objective of moving away from diesel mobility by 2024 and petrol by 2030, the need to develop the motorisation of river transport is becoming a major objective.

As a port infrastructure manager, and in order to respond to this transitional challenge by allowing boats to have access to alternative energies to reduce their environmental impact, the port complex has committed itself to the H2Ships Interreg project aimed at developing the use of hydrogen for boat propulsion.

In this context, this client called on Assystem, with its co-contractor, an engineering and environmental consultancy company, to carry out feasibility studies in order to develop hydrogen refueling facilities.

Project scope

Support to the project owner in order to study the feasibility of using hydrogen for the propulsion of river boats within its installations:

  • Analysis of the existing regulatory framework, identification of obstacles and related proposals.
  • Opportunity study for the deployment of locally produced hydrogen refueling sites
  • Feasibility study for hydrogen fueling on a port scale
  • Evaluation of transport and distribution logistics

The work concerns all the stages of the fueling chain (production, transport, storage, distribution), the types of ships, the state of hydrogen (liquid, compressed, metallic, LOHC - Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier), etc.


  • Launching the decarbonation of river navigation in Ile de France thanks to consolidated feasibility data
  • Definition of a long-term plan and planning of the first achievements, as well as their integration into the future hydrogen ecosystem in the Paris Region by producing opportunity studies on all sites, supplemented by feasibility studies on the selected sites
  • Proposals for the evolution of the regulatory framework associated with the hydrogen fueling of boats, essential to the derisking of projects, thanks to the regulatory analyses produced and the strong involvement of the client

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