Dutch yard lays down first fully electric ferry

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 06 April 2020


While working on the construction of the first hybrid ferry for German operator Schlepp- und Fährgesellschaft Kiel (SFK), the keel laying for the second, fully electric, ferry took place last week at Holland Shipyards Group’s yard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, The Netherlands.

In May 2019, SFK awarded Holland Shipyards Group a contract for the design and delivery of a new ferry, named Gaarden. During the construction of this first ferry, SFK opted for the design and delivery of a second ferry, named Düsternbrook. Both vessels are part of the long-overdue re-generation of the city’s passenger fleet. Opting to build this second ferry at Holland Shipyards Group is in line with the ambition of the city of Kiel to ensure consistency in their fleet, and also fits perfectly within its goals to provide zero-emission public transport in the area of Kiel.

Skf electric
Artist impression fully electric ferry Düsternbrook

The new fully-electric ferry is 24.7m long and 6.50m wide. It is completely emission-free and entirely powered by battery power. Besides the battery pack, the vessel also has 20 solar panels on the roof to provide the onboard power supply network.

A noteworthy system on board the new ferry is the non-conventional automated mooring system which features mooring hooks in both sides of the ship. The mooring system, which is one-man operated, is easily controlled from the wheelhouse. While mooring, the engine is not in use, resulting in a reduction in energy consumption.

The vessel will operate within the area of Kiel, between Reventlou and Wellingdorf and has a capacity of 140 pedestrians and 60 bicycles. It is expected to enter service at the end of this year. The project is supported by the state department of traffic and digital infrastructure of the German government as part of the clean-air-program.

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