GreenPoint awarded for vision and guts

Innovation Award for Don Quichot

GreenPoints new barge is named Don Quichot. The struggle, or fight if you will, for developing a 'gas washing installation' was rewarded the Innovation Award Drechtsteden (a cluster of cities just south of Rotterdam).

Crew complaining about headaches while degassing barges for inland shipping. Marc Freriks and Bart Bruinsma of BFT Tanker Logistics noticed it, and started looking for a way to get rid of gas and fumes from the barge's hold in a different way. Freriks and Bruinsma founded GreenPoint Maritime Services to solve this problem.


Until recently, people were allowed to degas by simply opening up the hold and let the fumes dissapate. This method has become illegal in an increasing amount of Dutch provinces. "It took courage and vision to invest in a healthy and enviromentally friendly solution", BFT's Michiel van Eijck states. Partnering along with Linthorst, HVR and Vaporsol, an installation was built to recycle 95% of all fumes. The Vaitec installation is remarkably faster than existing methods. As the Vaitec is mobile, ships are no longer required to go to land based facilities. "The Vaitec has been tested thoroughly, and is now being installed on Don Quichot, a new barge that is in the works and about to be finished." The Don Quichot will be christened on june 17.


BFT receiving this award came as a total surprise to the Greenpoint founders. "The competition was fierce, as we have seen quite some strong initiatives in this region. What we noticed, is that a lot of innovation is done by small companies, who have a hard time getting funded by banks. We were lucky enough to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, and landed 1 million euros in 2,5 hours."

According to Jaap Smit, commissioner to the king in South-Holland, BFT was awarded because the company has proven to be innovative in many fields, and because a common cause is served by this particular innovation: cleaner air for everyone.

This is a translation of the original story in Dutch by Conny Taheij.