Sailing towards a greener future in Denmark

Damen Shipyards Group is broadening its horizons by becoming a full solution integrator for Arriva’s Copenhagen ferries, creating bespoke equipment along the way

Sailing towards a greener future in Denmark
Movia’s new ferries will replace Copenhagen’s previous ferries as a more eco-friendly alternative

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Dutch shipbuilding company Damen Shipyards Group is driving the shipping industry towards a greener future. The company has been developing electric ferries as part of its E-Cross Ferries programme since 2015. These vessels have a range of different propulsion sources; some use a combination of diesel, electric and onboard power generation, while others are fully electric and use shore-based energy.

According to Damen’s product director Henk Grunstra, ferries are the ideal vessel with which to begin the electrification journey. “Their predictable nature, and regular route and schedule enables shipyards to tailor the propulsion exactly to the vessel’s operational profile,” he explains.

Damen’s work in this area has attracted the likes of transport provider Arriva Denmark and Movia, the public transport authority in Copenhagen, Denmark. Arriva had been running Copenhagen’s ferry service for 15 years when Movia decided to upgrade to a greener alternative. To accommodate this, Arriva partnered with Damen to create seven ecological and economical Damen Ferry 2306 E3 vessels. These customised 80-passenger ferries were made specifically for Arriva’s operation of Movia’s service and are based on Damen’s E-Cross vessels.

The seven newbuilds are still under construction but when they enter service in 2020, they will be all be powered by electric batteries that will eliminate emissions and minimise onboard noise and vibrations. Movia requested that at least 60% of the power be from a green source so Damen Civil, a branch of the shipyard, created a tailor-made, drive-on charging solution to allow the ferries to dock bow-first at Copenhagen’s existing jetties and charge the batteries quickly between each trip.

“By charging every hour, the ferries replenish their relatively small battery pack at the beginning and end of each route,” says Bastiaan Vink, design and proposal engineer at Damen. “The combination of a fast-charging system and a small battery pack will allow the ferries to recharge in just seven minutes without disrupting their schedule.”

The shipyard’s winch department also developed a bespoke auto-mooring system in house to control the motion of the vessels and secure them to the jetty as their batteries are charging. This will increase safety and reduce energy consumption.

The ferries will also feature a low superstructure to minimise wind resistance and specially designed hulls to lower water resistance and save energy. Large windows with additional skylights will bring more daylight into the onboard cabins and give passengers sea views. Damen is working on an increasing number of similar projects, broadening its role from shipbuilder to a full solution integrator.

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
24 October 2019

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