The maritime industry has developed a strong environmental awareness in recent years. In line with our goal of being the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder, Damen has been a pioneer in supporting this aspect of the maritime energy transition. Our company’s work has included the development of a range of ecologically conscious vessels using hybrid and full-electric propulsion as well as an electric Cutter Suction Dredger.
A cleaner energy concept
Damen applies a unique combination of standardisation and innovation to the development of cleaner technologies.
Damen’s offering is a fully integrated service, covering the entire process, both ship and shore, leading to the delivery of either hybrid or full electric ships for low or zero emission sailing.
Our concept is summed up by our E3 programme. E3 Boats are Environmentally friendly, efficient in operation and economically viable; that is, they are focused on both ecological and cost-efficiency – a concept that is sustainable in all senses of the word.
Zero emission operations
There are a variety of benefits that electric ships offer vessel operators and for the communities in which they provide their services. Many of these are of an ecological nature. Current IMO regulations require maritime operations to produce a 50 percent reduction in emissions, based on 2008 levels, by 2050.
There are a number of ways in which to bring about this maritime energy transition. One of these is electrical propulsion and dredging systems. On short, predictable sailing routes, electric boats are the optimally clean solution.
In addition to the climate advantages offered by electric boats, environmental protection is also evident in the extremely low levels of noise and vibration produced.
Electric vessels are also both low and easy maintenance, ensuring optimal uptime of any operation and added cost-efficiency.
With increasing levels of ecological awareness, and ever more stringent regulations coming into force, electric powered ships represent a future-proof solution.
Electric vessel integration
Damen’s role is broader than that of ‘just’ electric shipbuilder; we are integrator for the entire project. We use our network to build connections between industry and academia, between the supply chain and knowledge institutes. Our project involvement begins as consultant, during which time we undertake research, for example, into power availability on the local grid. Such information, along with an understanding of the vessels’ route and the speed of operation allows us to ascertain, amongst other things, the appropriate battery size.
As integrator, Damen takes on the role of total service provider, affording us a complete view over the entire project scope, thus ensuring an optimally efficient execution. This includes both ship and shore infrastructure; not only the vessel, but also the charging and docking apparatus.
Damen is renowned for its practice of standardised shipbuilding. In the case of electric vessels, every operation is unique. The various routes encountered by an electric ferry or the port infrastructure experienced in an electric tug operation, for example, are factors impacting on the design and construction of the boat. However, the philosophy of building in series retains a vital role in the commissioning of vessels using electric propulsion. Standard processes and modularity provide the necessary versatility to customise the vessel, building on the strong foundation offered by application of proven technology.