Willem Barentsz SWZ|Maritime February 2019

Further Delays for Doeksen’s New LNG Ferries

The entry into service date for Rederij Doeksen's new LNG ferries has been pushed back from 18 September 2019 to 7 January 2020. The newbuild project has suffered much delay since the vessels were ordered in Vietnam on 8 April 2016.

Rederij Doeksen ordered the two identical aluminium catamaran car ferries, which will run on LNG, from Vietnamese shipyard Strategic Marine (V) Co., Ltd., in Vung Tau. They were to be delivered in a Dutch port at the end of 2017. The vessels' keels were laid on 15 July and 9 August 2016.

Delays in Construction

From then on, the shipyard's Australian holding company Triyards faced financial difficulties causing delays in construction of the vessels. It took until 8 and 12 January 2019 for the ferries, now named Willem de Vlamingh and Willem Barentsz, to be launched at the Vietnamese yard.

Vessels to Be Finished in Harlingen

As Triyards once again faced serious financial problems last summer, Rederij Doeksen decided to take matters into its own hands and transport the vessels to the Netherlands to finish them there. 

Paul Melles, director of Rederij Doeksen says: 'The promised funds from investors repeatedly failed to materialise, causing the shipyard to run into difficulties and making it impossible to make a reliable planning for the outfitting of our ships. As a result, after intensive negotiations, we were able to take over the ships and finish them on arrival in Harlingen under our own management.'

The two new, innovative ships are currently on their way from Vietnam to the Netherlands, where they are expected to arrive in the third week of May.

Outfitting to Take More Time

The responsibility for successfully bringing both innovative ships into service now lies 100% with Rederij Doeksen and the company expects to need more time to get them ready, which means that the September date is no longer feasible.

Melles: 'Our construction supervision team, which has also been supervising on behalf of Doeksen in Vietnam all this time, will also be deployed during the outfitting and commissioning of the new ships. We have done this type of project before, such as with the ms Tiger, ms Noord Nederland and large conversion projects of the existing fleet. And we are capable of managing such processes. It is our responsibility to bring the new vessels into service safely and reliably. After a preliminary inventory of work needed and the time required for this, we have decided that the new ships will enter into service on 7 January 2020. Passengers who have already booked their passaged in autumn will be informed.'

About the Willem Barentsz and Willem de Vlamingh

The building sum of the Willem Barentsz and the Willem de Vlamingh amounts to $ 50.1 million. The design was prepared by Vripack, Sneek, in cooperation with BMT Nigel Gee, Southampton. 

The particulars of the Willem Barentsz and Willem de Vlamingh are: 1200 bt, L o.a. (l.l.) x B (dg) = 70.65 (69.60) x 17.30 (2.60) m. Propulsion is provided by two MTU gas engines, type 16V4000M55RN, with a total power of 4054 hp or 2984 kW at 1600 rpm on two counter-rotating screws for a service speed of 14 knots. The ferries will have accommodation for 592 passengers and a capacity of 66 cars.

Wadden Fund Subsidy

The project actively contributes to the theme "Sustainable Development of Ports and Energy Transition" from the Pioneer Programme Wadden Fund 2012-2013 ("Pioniersprogramma Waddenfonds 2012-2013"). The Wadden Fund granted Rederij Doeksen a subsidy of € 1,207,500 for this project.

Picture: The Willem Barentsz shortly after its launch (from "Maand Maritiem", SWZ|Maritime February 2019).

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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