Toward Greener Seas: Damen Constructs Eco-Friendly Cargo Ships for Gered Green Partnership

Innovative Features and Funding from Germany’s BMDV Propel Sustainable Maritime Solutions

Wind foils and battery power will be added to the Damen-designed short sea cargo vessel (Damen)

In a pioneering initiative aimed at advancing sustainable maritime practices, Damen is currently in the process of constructing two short sea cargo ships for the German partnership, Gered Green. This collaboration, spearheaded by German shipping entities Reederei Gerdes and Over-C, is dedicated to fostering environmentally friendly shipping solutions within the short sea sector. Gered Green recently secured €1.1 million in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) as part of a strategic initiative unveiled in October 2023.

The vessels in question, based on the popular Damen Combi Freighter 3850 design, are undergoing modifications to showcase the potential enhancements in environmental performance. Damen’s comprehensive alterations to the CF 3850 general cargo ship include the incorporation of a cutting-edge battery-driven propulsion system. This innovative technology enables the vessels to operate emission-free for brief periods, particularly during port approaches, departures, or transit through densely populated areas.

Measuring 295 feet in length with a cargo capacity of 5,250 cubic meters in its hold, the CF 3850 is being further equipped with foldable VentoFoils from Econowind. These wing-shaped devices harness wind energy to provide additional propulsion, thereby reducing reliance on traditional engines, minimizing fuel consumption, and mitigating emissions.

Additionally, the vessels are being adapted to run on biodiesel fuel, with the incorporation of a 130kW shore power connection. To further enhance operational efficiency and performance monitoring, Damen is integrating the Triton remote monitoring platform into the ships, offering real-time feedback on their overall performance.

Highlighting the collaborative efforts, Damen emphasizes its ongoing partnership with Gerdes in not only designing this hybrid vessel but also in refining its overall performance. Leveraging state-of-the-art tools and computational fluid dynamics, Damen has successfully optimized the vessel’s design, resulting in a significant reduction in water resistance.

The awarded funding, part of Germany’s fourth funding call, reflects a broader commitment to green shipping initiatives. In total, €31 million has been allocated to five companies for the enhancement of 17 vessels. Beyond Gered Green’s two cargo ships, the funding encompasses diverse projects, including hydrogen combustion engines for Fairplay’s six tugs and electrical propulsion systems for SAL Heavy Lift’s four ships. Germany’s sustained commitment to green shipping initiatives, evident through the allocation of €59 million across 28 projects since 2021, underscores its dedication to fostering a sustainable maritime industry.

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