Inland waterway navigation is a safe and environmentally friendly mode of transport and should therefore be encouraged to develop and grow. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) is committed to assisting companies with the environmentally friendly modernisation of their fleets and supporting them with the implementation of new technologies.
Based on the results of international research, the programme "Aid Scheme for Green Inland Waterway Vessels" (Förderprogramm umweltfreundliches Binnenschiff) has been developed as part of the implementation of the National Action Plan for the Danube. Direct grants were available for the refitting of ships with environmentally friendly equipment and machinery.
The research project MoVe IT! has carried out a cost-benefit analysis for the refitting of cargo vessels. A detailed version of the results is available here.
The funding programme for green inland waterway vessels ran from 1 June 2014 until 31 May 2017, ongoing funding projects were processed until 30 November 2018. Funding was processed by viadonau – Austrian Waterway Company.
Within the aid scheme for green inland waterway vessels, conversions were funded which increased safety, e.g. modernisation of safety equipment and fire protection systems, conversion from single hull to double hull for the transport of dangerous goods or the installation of bow thrusters which enhance manoeuvrability and thus safety and contribute to fuel savings. Conversions for optimised propulsion systems were funded as well, e.g. installation of kort nozzles which also contribute to fuel savings.
During the programme, fundings in the amount of EUR 883,796.00 for 22 ships were approved in total. Experiences of the aid scheme for green inland waterway vessels will be integrated in future funding programmes to promote inland waterway navigation.