Member of Parliament Agnes Mulder (CDA) impressed by Meppeler boat builders.
Agnes Mulder, Member of Parliament on behalf of the CDA, paid a working visit to the Alumax Boats yard in Meppel on Friday, together with a delegation of local and provincial CDA politicians, where work is being carried out, among other things, on the construction of the well-known Rotterdam water taxis. Part of the visit also involved a cruise through the seaport of Meppel, which is part of the regional port company Port of Zwolle. The theme of the working visit was sustainability. Agnes Mulder was extensively informed at the Meppel aluminum boat builders about the construction of the seven emission-free water taxis that Alumax has been building since last year on behalf of Watertaxi Rotterdam. Six of those seven boats will be fully electrically powered and the seventh water taxi will run on hydrogen.
The CDA delegation was told by director Remko Germeraad of Alumax Boats that not only the well-known water taxis will soon be sailing emission-free. According to Germeraad, more and more consumers are also switching to an electrically powered sloop or tender boat. The Meppeler boat builder foresees that this electric boating trend will be taken over within a few years by the rise of hydrogen. “But then the developments in that area must be accelerated,” warned the Meppel boat builder. Germeraad sees that the pace in Germany is many times higher, especially when setting up infrastructure such as filling stations. “Perhaps it is all a bit more complex than it seems, but there are already hydrogen filling stations in Germany and there is plenty of testing with hydrogen, especially in the automotive industry. We as a boat builder nation in the world should do this with boat building. If we don’t, there is a chance that we will lose our leading position in the world.” Germeraad once again recalled that the same problem arose, and still does, with the advent of electric sailing. “In Amsterdam, electric sailing in the canals will be mandatory from 2025, but the infrastructure is not yet set up for it because there are hardly any charging points.”
During the cruise through the Meppel harbor area, of course in an aluminum boat from Alumax, Agnes Mulder, Egbert Knorren (Meppel Municipality) and Klaas Neutel (Provincial Council) were informed about the developments in the ports of Port of Zwolle in the area of of sustainability. For example, the port authority, led by director Jeroen van den Ende, is fully committed to circularity, renewable energy, sustainable raw materials and climate adaptation. To this end, research is being carried out on behalf of the provinces of Overijssel and Drenthe, the municipalities of Meppel, Zwolle and Kampen and the Northern Innovation Lab Circular Economy into the opportunities and threats and the potential of sustainable port development in Port of Zwolle.
Agnes Mulder looked back on the visit with satisfaction afterwards. The Member of Parliament from Drenthe indicated that he was impressed by the company and promised to take the wishes of the Drenthe boat builders with regard to developments in the field of hydrogen to ‘The Hague’.