Dutch environmentally friendly ferry design

20 Dec 2010

Damen Shipyards has announced that it has been tasked with developing a new environmentally friendly ferry design for the Dutch shipping company Rederij Doeksen, which operates passenger and car ferries between Harlingen and the Dutch Wadden islands.

Damen says that this will be the first time it has specifically designed a ferry aiming at a sustainable solution, and this is the first ferry of this type for Doeksen. The vessel will be powered by LNG, a hybrid system using wind/solar energy and other alternative solutions, although the use of an environmentally-friendly diesel system is not being ruled out if this looks a better option.

Henk Grunstra, Damen product director, said: “This project is particularly interesting because we have to look at the existing ferries, the specifics of the waterways in the Wadden Sea which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the passenger, car, cycle capacity and the peaks and troughs in demand.

“It is not purely about the vessel itself but it is about finding out the most sustainable way of operating the service given the specific environment. The solution has to be the right answer for the situation, this is not just about fitting a gas tank into a vessel.”

Damen and Doeksen are jointly looking at the best way to develop the project, which should make a minimal demand for energy, use the energy as efficiently as possible and be as clean as possible, Grunstra stressed.

 “Doeksen is an ideal partner for this kind of work because it is already very advanced with its own research into this subject. It will be very interesting to build and develop this concept together and finally come up with a design that we think will be the best, sustainable solution for the future of the ferry market. The knowledge we build up during this time will also give us more insight and help other projects progress to a higher level”, Grunstra added.

The sustainable ferry design project is partly funded by the Dutch government (Stimulatie Innovatie Binnenvaart) and by a European Union Interreg – North Sea Region grant. Damen and Doeksen aim to have the detailed design completed by the end of 2011.

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