VIDEO: Damen to build five all-electric ferries for Copenhagen

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JULY 6, 2018 — Damen Shipyards is to build five fully-electric ferries for operation in Copenhagen. They are being built under a contract awarded by multinational public transportation company Arriva Danmark, which will operate them for its client, Danish public transport agency MOVIA.

In the tender process for this contract, Damen’s in-house engineering team conducted extensive studies into the best possible solution for the operation in question. A key feature was environmental performance. Damen considered biodiesel, hybrid and full electric solutions. A zero-emissions, fully electric solution not only offered the best results in terms of sustainability but was the most cost-efficient solution, over the twelve year period.

Another crucial requirement was that the new vessels be able to fit into the existing framework – including use of current timetables and infrastructure — as well as the capacity to carry at least 60 passengers.

In response, Damen has developed a design with a capacity for 80 passengers, tailored so that the vessels can dock – bow first – at the existing jetties.

At the jetties at each end of the route, Damen will install fast charging points. Charging, which will take place with each voyage, will take just seven minutes.

On board comfort was also important. The ferries, without diesel engines, offer very low noise and vibrations. The passenger area – low in the water for wind protection – features very large windows, while the roof is also glazed. The wheelhouse has been raised to the highest possible position so as to provide operators with the optimal viewpoint.

For vessels that are required to carry up to 80 passengers, both commuters and tourists, and operate sixteen hours a day, reliability was a key concern. Damen has a proven track record in fully electric solutions. To further ensure reliability, Damen has developed a robust, steel-hulled ferry with strong fenders. These features, combined with the electric propulsion, guarantee lowest possible maintenance requirements.

Mr.Torben Hansen, Director Bus of Arriva Danmark, said, “This is third consecutive occasion that Arriva has secured the contract to provide this service to the City of Copenhagen. We are very proud and honored to play our part in assisting the city as it strives to meet its target of zero emissions in public transport in the coming years. This new vessel order is perfectly aligned with our role at the forefront of the switch from diesel to electric power. Damen has proven to be the right partner for this project. Their experience with fully electric vessels has positioned them well to support and advise us in our mission to provide the city of Copenhagen with clean, safe, reliable and cost effective transportation.”

Martin Verstraaten, Damen Sales Manager, said, “Throughout the tender process, the collaboration between all parties has been excellent. Combining Arriva’s operational knowledge with our shipbuilding experience has delivered a design that answers all the needs of this project; a zero emissions, low maintenance solution that offers real value for money.”

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