To promote sustainable inland shipping the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has recently launched an initiative for vessels electrification. The Temporary Subsidy Scheme for the Electrification of Inland Vessels, with an allocated budget of €15.1 million, is part of the larger “Zero Emission Inland Shipping, battery-electric” project, funded by the National Growth Fund, aimed at enabling inland vessels to operate emission-free through the use of modular energy containers.

The primary aim of this subsidy scheme is to facilitate the transition of inland vessels to electric propulsion within the Zero Emission Services (ZES) concept. This transition involves the installation of electric propulsion systems and necessary components to replace conventional diesel drives. The ultimate goal is for these vessels to operate fully electrically, utilizing interchangeable battery containers, and adhere to stringent emission standards. By the initial issuance, the vessels are expected to achieve a minimum inland shipping emission label of B1, escalating to A0 by 1st July 2026. It’s important to note that the subsidy excludes battery containers and combustion engines.

The Application Timeline

Interested parties should note the following key dates for subsidy applications:

  • First Phase: 7th December to 28th February 2024
  • Second Phase: 1st May to 30th June 2024
  • Third Phase: 1st September to 15th October 2024

Applications are to be submitted via email to, accompanied by mandatory attachments listed under the “Documents” tab on the EICB website.

Funding Details

The scheme offers substantial financial incentives to encourage the shift to electric propulsion:

  • This is an advance payment arrangement.
  • Maximum Subsidy per Vessel: €400,000
  • Additional Funding for Industrial Research Projects: Up to €75,000
  • Subsidy Percentage: Regular projects receive 40%, while specific costs for industrial research projects are subsidized at 50%. For medium-sized businesses, the subsidy for research projects increases by 10%, and for small businesses by 20%.
  • Funds are allocated based on specific criteria, with a scoring system in place for regular and industrial research projects. Key criteria include emission-free operation, scalability, and knowledge transfer, among others.