The steadily growing transport demands in Europe implies the better utilisation of existing inland waterways such as free running rivers and canals. This is often not possible due to either permanent or seasonal low water depths in these waterways, and the poor transport efficiency of conventional inland waterway vessels under such conditions. The project called “INnovative BArge Trains for effective Transport on Inland Shallow Waters” (INBAT) will develop a low draught inland water transport system.
The project consortium consists of 12 partners from 4 European countries, including four research institutes - Versuchsanstalt für Binnenschiffbau (project co-ordinator), Technical University of Szczecin (Poland), Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland), Ship Design and Research Centre Gdansk (Poland); design and engineering offices - NAVICENTRUM and SCHIFFKO GmbH and others.
The system development will be based on the characteristics for the selected inland waterways of upper Elbe and Oder but it will be applicable also for any other shallow waterways worldwide, facilitating operation in water depths sufficient for a draught of as low as 0.6 m. INBAT will focus on development of new super lightweight construction materials with innovative ship design and engineering and production methods to improve barge payloads at lower production costs. It will develop new effective shallow draught propulsion systems and optimised hull forms for best overall operating efficiency.