La Naval delivers ABC-powered hybrid RoPax ferry

JUNE 29, 2016 — Spanish shipbuilder Construcciones Navales del Norte—La Naval — has now delivered Texelstroom, one of the world's first  hybrid RoPax ferries.

The 135 m double ender has been built for Royal N.V. Texels Eigen Stoomboot Onderneming (TESO) and is designed to transporting up to 1,750 passengers and 350 vehicles between the port of Den Helder, Netherlands,  and the island of Texel.

Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) supplied the four medium speed main engines, including two dual fuel (CNG + diesel) generator sets that deliver 2 MW each at 1,000 rpm and two diesel generator sets that develop 2 MW each at 750 rpm.

For the dual fuel engines, an air/gas mixture is injected in the cylinders, which is then compressed. A small pilot injection of diesel ensures the ignition. Natural gas (CNG) is more environmentally friendly and has as one of the main advantages that hardly any soot or sulfur dioxide is released during the combustion.

An important advantage of ABC's dual fuel engines is a very flexible fuel system that considerably increases efficiency. The ignition system makes it possible to work with different gases of low calorific value and fluctuating ignition quality.

Texelstroom will generally sail using its dual fuel engines every hour between 6 am and 10 pm. The engines are designed to have sufficient power in the tidal conditions in which the ship operates for the approximately 20 minute crossing between the mainland and the largest Dutch Wadden Sea Island Texel.

In normal weather conditions, Texelstroom will use only one dual fuel generating set during the majority of the crossing with the engine coordinating with the battery packs on board.

Redundancy was taken into account from the concept stage of the ferry. In cases of extreme urgency, the hybrid ferry will have to make the crossing from Texel to the mainland (and vice versa) at high speed. Therefore, two back-up diesel generating sets were also provided.

In addition to the two storage tanks for the compressed natural gas, a 700 sq.m solar photovoltaic panel field is also installed on the roof of the ferry, with the energy that it produces being stored in high capacity electric batteries that are part of the ship's advanced energy management system. This energy can then be used at peak times for either propulsion or electricity consumption on board of the ferry.

Cees de Waal, Director of TESO, stated: "With Texelstroom, TESO wanted to achieve its ambition where environmental benefits, cost control and quality improvement go together. The ship embodies the latest technologies for reducing emissions. This next-generation ferry will sail our passengers in a comfortable and efficient way across the Marsdiep. With regards to the propulsion, it was very important to choose environmentally friendly and reliable engines.

"Jean-Pierre Props, Area Sales Manager at Anglo Belgian Corporation, said, "We want to thank Royal TESO for their confidence in our engines and wish them all the best in the continued operation of the ferry service between Texel and Den Helder."

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