The Dutch nature conservancy board Natuurmonumenten and Damen Shipyards have teamed up to develop a green passenger ferry for a protected island in Holland’s big rivers estuary.
The island of Tiengemeten, in the Haringvliet basin about 15 kilometers south of the Rotterdam port complex, is currently being served by an out-of-date diesel powered ferry which is due for replacement. In the agreement signed on July 11, Natuurmonumenten and Damen set out to design and build a sustainable craft to transfer visitors to and from the mainland.
“We really look forward to this assignment”, Jelle Meindertsma, Sales Manager Damen Shipyards enthuses. “One of a ferry’s main characteristics is that its route is always the same. Such a predictable sailing pattern offers the ideal starting-point to fine-tune the design, also vis-a-vis optimum sustainability.”
“We’ll start with an empty drawing-board, meaning that possible techniques are still open, to address this specific transportation challenge”, Henk Grunstra, Damen’s Product Director Public Transport adds. “One must think out of the box to create innovation.”
Krijn-Jan Provoost, Natuurmonumenten’s Area Director for the Zuid-Holland and Zeeland provinces, notes that managing a ferry link is no core activity for his organization. “Nonetheless experiencing this (uninhabited) island does already start once you board the ferry boat, indeed. We naturally want to be a forerunner in environmentally friendly solutions and we wish to involve our visitors as much as possible.”
Innovation being one of Damen Shipyard’s core values, Natuurmonumenten has chosen the right partner for the development of its green ferry. The shipbuilding group anticipates the presentation of its first concept in October 2014.