Damen Shipyards has secured a contract from Dutch ferry joint venture Aqualiner-Swets for the delivery of nine passenger vessels.
Under an EU tendered contract of maximum fifteen years, Aqualiner-Swets will run the vessels on behalf of the province of South Holland, providing transportation service between Rotterdam and Drecht cities in the Netherlands from 2022.
Six of the nine vessels delivered by Damen will be hybrid and carbon fibre waterbuses that will serve the fast ferry intercity routes, primarily between Dordrecht, Sliedrecht, Rotterdam, and the World Heritage site Kinderdijk.
The vessels will be designed with the possibility to be converted to completely electric propulsion by 2030 at the latest.
The remaining three vessels will be completely electric from the beginning of the service in 2022. The vessels will provide services in the city area of Papendrecht, Dordrecht, and Zwijndrecht and will be 100% electrical from the start of operations in 2022.
According to the local rules, all ferry services need to be completely emission-free by 2030.
Therefore, all nine vessels will be built to be efficient in terms of weight, hull design, and systems, containing a hybrid-electric arrangement for peak shaving.
Along with the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (Marin), Damen carried out a parametric study and hull optimisation to boost performance on the low-wash catamarans.
The study was conducted to find a way to reduce the wake wash produced by the vessels.
Damen Shipyards sales manager Vincent Maes said: “Our work on this project is a good demonstration of Damen’s role, not only as a shipbuilder but as a provider of comprehensive maritime solutions. What makes it special is our close cooperation with the team of Aqualiner-Swets.
“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. The collaboration has been excellent so far and we are looking forward to continuing it during construction and beyond.”
Aqualiner-Swets founder Gerbrand Schutten said: “From the moment we joined together in 2017 to start DeWaterbus in Antwerp, Mr Kommer Damen and his company believed in our inspiration, strategy, and approach for the customers’ journey and our precious environment.”