Based in Harlingen, Rederij Doeksen operates passenger and car ferries between Harlingen and the Dutch Wadden islands of Vlieland and Terschelling.
This will be the first time Gorinchem-based Damen has specifically designed a ferry aiming at a sustainable solution and this is the first ferry of this type for Doeksen.
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.”
Once the Dutch shipbuilding group and Doeksen have collected all the data the two partners will analyse the best way an environmentally friendly vessel can be developed “to provide a durable, sustainable solution for the ferry services”, he added.
The new ferry should make a minimal demand for energy, use the energy as efficiently as possible and be as clean as possible, Mr Grunstra stressed.
The vessel will be powered by LNG, a hybrid system using wind/solar energy and other alternative solutions. If it turns out that using a diesel system with a filter is the better option then this may be considered.”
The most important thing is that the vessel and its operation should be a viable option offering an integrated solution, emphasised Mr Grunstra.
Future ferry design
Doeksen is bringing its vast experience and expertise to the project, concerning the operation of a ferry service and about how to operate and maintain these vessels, said Mr Grunstra. “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.”
This project fits in with Damen’s and Doeksen’s policy to develop technologies that will help achieve sustainable goals. Damen is also participating in several other initiatives to this end, such as the E3 tug and air lubrication projects.
Damen and Doeksen aim to have a detailed design completed by the end of 2011.
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 (iTRANSFER) which promotes interregional cooperation. The funding aims to stimulate connections via the waterways in the North Sea area, with particular attention being paid to sustainable shipping.