Flotte Hamburg

Flotte Hamburg orders two 100% electric vessels

Flotte Hamburg, the City of Hamburg’s startup that implements low-emission shipping solutions and operates the city’s inland vessels, has ordered its first two fully electric ships.

Courtesy of the Port of Hamburg

Following a Europe-wide tender, Hermann Barthel shipyard in Derben was awarded the contract to build the approximately 16-meter-long ships. The construction costs for the two new ships are approximately €8 million.

“We already worked successfully with the H. Barthel shipyard in the past. We are pleased that this cooperation will now be continued with highly innovative propulsion systems,” Karsten Schönewald, Managing Director of Flotte Hamburg, commented.

Since its founding in 2017, Flotte Hamburg has been equipping newly acquired ships with low-emission propulsion technologies. Such eco-friendly units are suitable solutions for the special area of ​​the Alster, where, according to a resolution by the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, ships with combustion engines will no longer be allowed to sail from 2030.

The “Newbuilding and Innovation” department of Flotte Hamburg managed the procurement process in close collaboration with the Agency for Roads, Bridges and Waters (LSBG).

“We are pleased that we will be carrying out our work in Hamburg’s waters with low-emission ships in the future. This is in line with our sustainability principle. Our colleagues from the Operations department were significantly involved in the planning of the new ships with their expertise, and we are very proud of that,” Stefan Klotz, Managing Director of the LSBG, said.

The fully electric work vessels will be used as transport and inspection vessels, primarily on the Inner and Outer Alster, but also in the Port of Hamburg.

Once completed, they will have a length of 16 meters and a width of 4.9 meters. Crewed by two people, they will be able to reach a speed of 14 km/h.

Specifically, the low bridge clearance heights and water depths on the Alster pose additional challenges for the design. Among other things, the wheelhouse can be lowered to a clearance height of 2.35 m. The emission-free and low-noise fully electric propulsion systems is expected to achieve a significant improvement, especially in urban and residential areas.

The energy stored on board enables the ships to be operated daily without additional intermediate charging.

“The first fully electric workboats in Hamburg are another milestone in our zero-emission agenda. As pioneers, we want to show that emission-free shipping is possible and can already be implemented in ports and inner-city areas today,” Karsten Schönewald, Managing Director of Flotte Hamburg, pointed out.

Last year, an initiative to turn the Port of Hamburg into a ‘sustainable energy hub’ was launched. The initiative aims to forge even closer cooperation between companies in the harbor and is part of the port’s goal to become climate neutral by 2040.

A month ago, the Port of Hamburg, as the first port in Europe, started offering shore power for both container and cruise vessels. On May 13, 2024, CMA CGM’s Vasco de Gama became the first containership to be regularly supplied with shore power at Container Terminal Hamburg (CTH).

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The port believes that sustainable fuels and energy sources represent a major opportunity for the port on the path to carbon neutrality. In this context, the port authority has launched several projects to drive decarbonization.

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