‘Will Set a New Industry Standard in Inland Shipping’
Holland’s Damen Shipyards Group – with partners including the QaGroup inland shipping concern and Damen’s own Bodewes Binnenvaart unit – are promoting a new concept for an efficient, 100% LNG-fueled vessel, dubbed EcoLiner, to be 360 feet long (110 meters), based on the Damen River Liner 1145.
It’s a “total solution” concept, they say, combining “ship design, shipbuilding, ship management, leasing, financing arrangements and highly trained crews working to internationally recognized quality standards.”
EcoLiner, says a Bodewes Binnenvaart-QaGroup release, “will set a new industry standard in inland shipping.”
Dedicated LNG ‘Lies at the Heart’
“Because this concept is built up on a modular basis, shippers, and barge operators can pick and choose,” Bodewes Binnenvaart director Rob Schuurmans and QaGroup CEO Jan Sneekes say in their firms’ joint announcement.
“We can provide the vessel including crew for one client, but just a financing arrangement for another, while handling all for a third client.
“We can tailor the concept to the customer’s exact requirements. This concept provides an integrated shipbuilding, ship management and financing solution.”
Dedicated liquefied natural gas operation “lies at the heart of the pioneering concept,” they note. Permission to use LNG 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.”
Also to be implemented on EcoLiner is Bodewes Binnenvaart’s air-lubricated “ACES” hull design, which in itself yields a 15% efficiency gain. The combination of LNG and ACES results “astonishing fuel savings and emissions cuts.”
Better than Driving
“We expect this new concept to appeal to shippers of consumables particularly, oil companies and logistic operators keen to get their cargo off the roads and keen on having one partner, one contact to deal with,” Schuurmans and Sneekes said.
The new vessel has an LNG bunker capacity of approximately 45 cubic meters (nearly 12,000 gallons) and is to be fully classified by Bureau Veritas.
The vessel is to be equipped with four generator sets and a comprehensive power management system to guarantee their optimum use. “For example,” states the release, “there is more power needed going upriver from Rotterdam to Basle than on the return, so the management system will automatically switch the generator sets on and off.”
“A typical ship engine runs most efficient at a load of 80% of its full power,” Schuurmans said. “With four generator sets the power management system will ensure the engines do so.”
Multiple generators also mean built-in redundancy, providing improved reliability and guaranteed maximum uptime.
Europe, Brazil, China and India
The partners say they are exploring markets in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, and in Brazil, China and India.
“We want to change the market. This is an innovative, safe, environmentally friendly and extremely cost competitive concept.
“There is no reason,” the say, “why it cannot be the inland shipping industry standard for the future.”
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