STORY Commercial Marine

New stablemate for gas ferry on Dutch Wadden Sea

Posted on January 28, 2021 by Kerstin Hansmann, Images by Henry Drost

The second LNG-powered ferry is going into service on the company's inshore Wadden Sea routes. The Willem de Vlamingh – as the new vessel has been named – is fitted with two 16-cylinder mtu Series 4000 gas engines.

The world may have gone quiet, but even a pandemic cannot deter Dutch ferry operator Doeksen from pursuing its goals. It is working to make operations more sustainable and is equipping its existing fleet bit by bit with more environmentally friendly propulsion technology. And this is really working, with a second LNG-powered ferry going into service on the company's inshore Wadden Sea routes right in the middle of lockdown. The Willem de Vlamingh – as the new vessel has been named – is fitted with two 16-cylinder mtu Series 4000 gas engines. Its sister ship, the Willem Barentsz, has been in service since the summer (as previously reported).


The new ferry is fitted with two 16-cylinder mtu Series 4000 gas engines.

Even though the world is focused on the Corona pandemic right now, we can't forget the environment. In the shipping industry, we need sustainable solutions that reduce pollutant emissions. I am delighted that we're now able to add a second LNG ferry to our fleet.

Dirk Spoor, CEO of Doeksen

Like its sister ship, the new 70-meter ferry is made entirely of aluminum, making it lighter and meaning it uses less fuel than conventional ferries. The 16-cylinder mtu Series 4000 gas engines produce an output of 1492 kW, and the ferry can reach a top speed of 14 knots. The existing fleet can make good use of the reinforcement from the new ferry additions - every year, around 800,000 people want to be transported back and forth from Harlingen on the Dutch mainland to the islands of Vlieland and Terschelling, some 30 kilometers away.

The vessel will initially run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which Doeksen regards as something of a transitional fuel. In future – as soon as the necessary infrastructure is in place – the company wants to switch to more sustainable liquefied biogas (LBG). A residual heat recovery system already ensures that thermal energy from the engine cooling system and the exhaust gases is recycled. Two Orcan units also supply all the electrical power requirements of the bow thruster system as well as covering part of the normal electrical requirements on board. 

“We are proud to see this second ferry commence operations on the Wadden Sea powered by our new mtu gas engines. We hope that the pandemic will soon allow us to get back to more normal."

Denise Kurtulus, head of the Marine business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
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