Damen to build nine eco-friendly ferries for Aqualiner-Swets

Damen Shipyards Group has signed a contract with the Dutch ferry joint venture Aqualiner-Swets for the construction of nine passenger vessels.

With these vessels, the joint venture will provide the public transportation service between Rotterdam and the Drecht cities on behalf of the Province of South Holland and the Region from 2022, better known as Waterbus.

waterbus
Image Courtesy: Damen

As informed, Damen will deliver a total of nine vessels, of which six are hybrid and carbon fibre Waterbuses to serve the fast ferry Intercity routes primarily between Sliedrecht, Dordrecht, Rotterdam and the World Heritage site Kinderdijk. Damen and the new operators have incorporated into the design the possibility to convert these vessels to fully electric propulsion, by 2030.

The remaining three vessels, the City Ferries, will be fully electric from the start of service in 2022 and will provide a service in the city area of Dordrecht, Papendrecht and Zwijndrecht.

Specifically, Damen has developed the vessels to fulfill the green ambitions of Aqualiner-Swets, the regional transport minister and all the local governments. They aim at having all ferry services completely emissions-free by 2030.

All nine Waterbuses are therefore extremely efficient in terms of weight, hull design and systems, featuring a hybrid-electric arrangement for peak shaving. Sustainability is an important theme to be found running throughout the overall vessel design, according to Damen.

Together with the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN), Damen performed a parametric study and hull optimisation to improve the performance on the low wash catamarans. This is aimed at reducing the wake wash produced by the vessels, so as not to cause disruption to those living and working on the water in the area of operation.

“Together we have considered every aspect of the operation, looking at vessel types, routes and speeds for maximum fuel efficiency and considering methods to improve the passenger experience,” Vincent Maes, Sales Manager Benelux, commented.

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