Gas engines for new ferries
Doeksen which operates routes across the Wadden Sea will be deploying two new ferries that will be the first to be powered by MTU's new mobile 16-cylinder single-fuel gas engines writes Dag Pike.
The object in using gas engines is to cut pollutant emissions by a significant margin in this sensitive sea area when operating on routes from the islands of Terschelling and Vlieland to the mainland. The two new ferries have been built by Strategic Marine in Vietnam and made the journey to Holland by heavy lift ship.
“We were looking for a new ferry concept that was both sustainable and innovative,” explains Paul Melles, the Managing Director of Doeksen. “After a strategic study, those responsible decided to build two smaller catamarans instead of one large ferry, which not only makes the timetable more flexible, allowing more services to and from Terschelling, but ultimately also boosting efficiency, thereby also lowering operating costs. The study recommended single fuel LNG (liquefied natural gas) as the fuel of choice. Full electric propulsion was not an option for us yet, given the battery systems currently available on the market. Terschelling is 21 nautical miles from Harlingen, meaning we would have to recharge the batteries after every trip. We just don't have that amount of time, and it's why LNG is the optimum solution for us right now.”
Doeksen's two new 70 metre-long catamarans have been fitted with MTU's new 16-cylinder Series 4000 gas engines, each with an output of 1,492 kilowatts coupled to fixed pitch propellers to give a service speed of 14 knots. The ferries can carry up to 600 passengers and 64 cars with ro-ro ramps to facilitate loading and discharge.
Following commissioning and various tests, it is anticipated that the new ferries will commence regular ferry services in September 2019. Facilities in Harlingen harbour are being adapted to facilitate the new ferries with a new overnight berth for an additional vessel, minor adjustments to the pier for the safe berthing and bunkering for weekly refueling. Paul Melles comments, “It's really exciting to see something that started out as an idea being taken through to implementation. We've waited so long for this, and now it's all coming to fruition.”
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