26 Oct 2023

Damen Maaskant sets the stage for electrification of future razor shell fishery

Damen Maaskant has delivered another pioneering technical solution for reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

Rick van de Weg

Damen Maaskant has delivered another pioneering technical solution for reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. From now on, the 43-metre YE118 owned by Yerseke 118 Noordland B.V., will fish for razor shells with an electric propulsion motor; a second step towards the full electrification of this vessel.

Due to the long-standing cooperation and successful technical modifications offered in 2015 with a view to safety and catch quality, Damen Maaskant and Yerseke 118 Noordland B.V. started working together again two years ago to discuss the next challenge: reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. “In view of the new Wnb licence for the period 2024-2029, lowering nitrogen oxide emissions in Natura 2000 areas is necessary to receive enough fishing hours and continue fishing profitably. Together with Damen Maaskant, we started early so that we can be ready with this before the end of 2023,” says skipper Robbert Mol.

According to Jeroen van den Berg, Commercial Manager at Damen Maaskant, the shellfish and aquaculture sector is now ready for the transition to sustainability and energy efficiency, referring to the recently completed refit of the razor shell fishing vessel YE118. “Exhaust gas after-treatment, electrification and the application of batteries are currently the best solutions available for this sector. In the future, this will include the application of e-fuels, which will require the same kind of drives and batteries. The YE118 is now on the road to zero emissions thanks to this investment.”

Electric motor

The YE118 had two propulsion engines and two generators. At the Damen Maaskant shipyard in Stellendam, the conventional diesel propulsion engine on the port side was removed and replaced with a new 400kW electric motor in cooperation with Wetec. The result was a reduction of almost 500kW of total installed power and a reduction in emissions and maintenance costs.

Yerseke Engine Services (YES) replaced the existing C18 generator set with a Greenpower GPC18 generator set with ultra-low NOx mode in early 2023. An exhaust gas aftertreatment system with ultra-low NOx mode has now also been added to the existing starboard Caterpillar C18 main engine. A special interface module that includes the location of all Natura 2000 areas has been added to this ultra-low NOx mode. This interface is linked to the on-board GPS. As soon as the vessel’s position falls within a Natura 2000 area, the system switches to ultra-low NOx mode and reduces emissions by more than 99%.

After successful sea trials on Saturday 21 October 2023, the vessel has already set course for its fishing grounds.


Damen Maaskant and Damen’s research department (RD&I) have long been committed to the development and production of sustainable ships and are closely involved in solutions to create a future with minimal emissions and reductions in overall energy use on board ships. In 2022, the shipyard won the sustainability award at the Shellfish Conference for developing ship engines with reduced CO2 and nitrogen emissions. Van den Berg: “Thanks to the support of our network and local suppliers, we were able to achieve the refit of the YE118 with the successful result of reducing nitrogen oxide emissions in a very short lead time of 10 days. The involvement and cooperation of the Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate also contributed positively to this.”

Damen Maaskant

In 2015, Damen Maaskant delivered a brand new vessel for Yerseke 118 Noordland B.V. At that time, the shipyard was working on quality improvement of the catch and safety on board. This resulted in pioneering techniques for both stability, fishing and processing the catch.