Kem One's hybrid barges on the Rhône: navigation tests underway before delivery


The 1st official navigation test took place on September 22 in Holland for Alcor. Carried out after the outfitting in Rotterdam, this test confirmed the navigation’s performance of the barge.

In January 2023, Kem One will put two self-propelled hybrid diesel-electric barges into circulation, compliant with the new Stage V standard on polluting emissions. The company will then be the first shipper on the Rhône to reach such environmental standartd for the transport of chemical products.

After the launch of the Alcor and Mizar barges last spring and six months spent for the outfitting in Rotterdam, the two barges are entering the final phase before delivery: the navigation tests. The Alcor barge test took place on September 22 in the presence of Bureau Veritas inspectors, representatives of French authorities and representatives of the main partners involved in the project.

A successful navigation test

The performance of the Alcor barge has been tested in terms of speed, maneuverability and consumption. Mizar is submitted to the same test in november.


The speed (19km/h) at full load was tested with 2500 tons of ballast water to verify the conformity with the technical specifications, as well as the maneuverability of the barge and the diesel consumption.

The tests carried out in September are the last step before the official reception of the two units by KEM ONE and their transfer to Marseille next December.

The first VCM shipment from Fos-sur-Mer to Saint-Fons (Lyon) using one of the two new vessels is scheduled for January.

According to the models carried out, the switch to hybrid motorization for the transport of more than 300,000 tons of VCM between the Fos-sur-Mer / Lavéra plants (VCM production) and those of Saint-Fons and Balan (PVC production) will have a considerable impact on the environment: fuel savings of 25 to 35%, with a corresponding reduction in emissions, i.e. more than 2,000 tons of CO2 per year.