Zemships (Zero Emission Ships) is a joint project carried out by nine partners and headed by the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Environment of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The budget of Project Zemships, which has been started in 2006, amounts to 5.5 million Euros. 2.4 million Euros of the overall budget have been co-financed by the European Union. The other part of the Zemships budget is contributed by its partners.Anja Hajduk, Senator of the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Environment of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, titled the ship by the name of FCS "Alsterwasser". The abbreviation FCS stands for Fuel Cell Ship. Wolfgang Tiefensee, Head of the Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany delivered his speech in front of 150 invited guests who attended the ceremony and joined in on the maiden cruise. Later on Mr. Tiefensee pointed out: " I am completely satisfied. The project will have a signalling effect. It is a milestone for the development of fuel cell technology for regular shipping service.
The FCS "Alsterwasser”, constructed by the shipyard of SSB Oortkaten, is operated by ATG Alster-Touristik GmbH who has also drafted the design for the vessel. On this very special Friday the 29th of August Jens Wrage’s retirement as managing director of ATG coincides with the ship launching ceremony of the FCS "Alsterwasser”. Having the last honorable task to welcome all the invited guests Mr. Jens Wrage is convinced that the citizens of Hamburg as well as the many visiting tourists will enthusiastically embrace the new ship:” It will be a very special experience to attend a cruise on the Alster lake on this new modern ship without generating any emissions. At the same time ATG now has a real steam boat again, but this time it emits water only.” Within the heart of the ship the innovative fuel cell hybrid propulsion designed by the Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH can be identified. Felix Heidelberg, Chief Technology Officer of Proton Motor:” The FCS "Alsterwasser", which is twice as energy efficient as a common ship with a diesel combustion system, is a prime example for innovation we are certainly very proud of. It demonstrates very well that tomorrow’s technology can already be applied for everyday life today.”
The needed hydrogen refueling station for the fuel cell passenger ship has completely been constructed and designed by the Linde Group. Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the board of directors of the Linde Group: “Being a part of the cutting edge of development in hydrogen technology we strive to implement an environmentally friendly mode of mobility for all sectors. By operating this hydrogen refueling station for the FCS "Alsterwasser” we demonstrate the outstanding properties of hydrogen as fuel for passenger ships .
”Günter Elste, Chief Executive Officer of the Hochbahn AG of Hamburg (HOCHBAHN), can look back on many years of operating fuel cell buses. Hosting the hydrogen refueling station on the pier at the underground yard at Hellbrookstraße in Barmbek is nothing unusual for him. He considers fuel cell technology to be very promising: “Our experiences have demonstrated the road capability of fuel cells for bus drive trains. More over currently we are using two fuel cell cars for the inner operations of HOCHBAHN. By putting the FCS “Alsterwasser” into service at our subsidiary ATG we now want to demonstrate the general capability of the project as well. Only through the implementation of projects like Zemships we can prepare the ground for a sufficient demand side to ensure the economic application of these new technologies in the long run.”The FCS "Alsterwasser” will from now on be available for ship cruises in canals and the Alster of Hamburg.The overall dimension of the ship are as follows: 25,5 meters in length, 5,2 meters wide and 2,62 meters in height. The FCS "Alsterwasser” is equipped with a rooflowering device, allowing it to pass the low bridges separating the Alster lake form the Elbe lake. The fuel cell system has a total output of 100 kW enabling the ship to cruise at 15 km/h.