Bodewes Binnenvaart B.V., Damen Shipyards Group’s inland waterway shipyard, and inland shipping company QaGroup are set to launch an entirely new inland shipping concept, which they believe will set a new industry standard in inland shipping. Both companies have combined their knowledge as to designing and operating the vessel to offer a full package to the customer: ship design, shipbuilding, ship management, leasing, financing arrangements and skilled crews. At the heart of the pioneering concept is a vessel run purely on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Permission to use LNG as fuel on this vessel has been granted by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ADN-UNECE), meaning that the vessel can travel on all the international inland waterways. The LNG concept operates alongside another innovation developed by Bodewes Binnenvaart, the air lubricated hull ‘ACES’. Working in combination, these innovations lead to astonishing fuel savings and emissions cuts.
Although the LNG/ACES system can be fitted to any inland ship, at the moment the system has been designed around a 110 m long vessel, the EcoLiner, which is based on the well-known Damen River Liner 1145. The new vessel has a bunker capacity of approximately 45 cu m LNG and it will be fully classified by Bureau Veritas. Extensive trials have proven that fuel savings of around 25% can be realised on the EcoLiner.
Estimated emissions reduction in relation to marine diesel oil (MDO) are: CO2 24%, NOx 84%, SOx 100% and Particulate Matter (PM) 95%.
“This gives shippers the chance to operate along “green corridors” and to reduce their total cost of ownership because ultimately they can make huge savings on transport costs,” says Rob Schuurmans, Director of BodewesBinnenvaart and drs. ir. Jan Sneekes, QaGroup CEO. “We want to change the market. This is an innovative, safe, environmentally friendly and extremely cost competitive concept. There is no reason why it cannot be the inland shipping industry standard for the future,” they added.
(This article compiled using information from a Damen Shipyards press release)