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When environmental aims align

Five zero emission propulsion ferries have been delivered to Arriva Denmark thanks to Damen Shipyards Group. Arriva is operating the vessels on behalf of Danish public transport agency Movia.

Movia issued the public tender for waterborne public transport in Copenhagen with the aim of upgrading the service; making it cleaner and more sustainable.  Operator Arriva shared that aim with its own; embracing innovation in order to reduce environmental impact. Damen’s stated aim is to become the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder. The vessels are based on Damen’s E3 philosophy – environmentally friendly, efficient in operation and economically viable.

The project saw Damen acting as integrator/complete solution provider, including investigating shore solutions for electricity supply – in alignment with Movia’s requirement that 60% of the electricity for the operation comes from a sustainable source.

The 2306 E3 vessel’s sustainable credentials are powered by a series of innovative, digital shipbuilding techniques. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) were applied to the hull design, minimising resistance in the water, while cutting-edge software measured the relationship between engine torque and propeller speed. This resulted in the optimal use of battery packs for reduced weight, energy consumption and – ultimately – cost  of operation.

A network of sensors means the ferries are prepared for remote monitoring with Damen’s remote monitoring department able to set up a dashboard, tracking such things as sailing patterns, battery lifecycle and swell dynamics; enabling fine-tuning of the operation towards greater efficiency and reduced downtime for maintenance.

Working closely with Echandia Marine, Heliox and Staubli, Damen developed a solution that takes the ferries just seven minutes to charge  at the end of each trip they make. The charging solution features an innovative auto-mooring system to ensure a secure connection between the vessel and charging infrastructure.

Martin Verstraaten, Damen sales manager, says, “This, in my opinion, is where Damen really add value to a project. Our involvement is not limited to the shipbuilding scope alone, we take responsibility for the entirety of the project. We provide a focal point where all partners involved the project come together to fulfil their individual roles in alignment with one another. With this, the project benefits from cohesive, centralised direction for maximum efficiency.”

Having recently unveiled the Electric Cutter Suction Dredger 650, Damen continues to work on a number of hybrid and electric projects. These include two fully electric ferries for Ontario, Canada, four (having delivered two to date) hybrid vessels, easily convertible to full electric propulsion in the future for BC Ferries in British Columbia, Canada and the world’s first fully electric harbour tug with 70 tonnes bollard pull for the port of Auckland, New Zealand.

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