Damen presents electric version of cutter suction dredger

Damen Shipyards Group has unveiled its first electric cutter suction dredger (ECSD) 650. With electric motors powering the dredge system, the ECSD 650 makes possible zero emissions dredging projects.

The electric power provides a significant reduction in noise, adding an extra tier of sustainability and ensuring the dredger’s suitability for projects in densely populated and environmentally sensitive areas.

The ECSD is a modular dredger, based on Damen’s standardised shipbuilding philosophy, dismountable for transportation and easy assembly in remote locations. Due to the standardisation, Damen was able to very quickly produce this sustainable product, simply exchanging the diesel motors for electric ones, without need for re-engineering. Standardisation further ensures the easy adaption of the ECSD to suit local power supplies.

Electrical nerve centre

On the conventional CSD 650, the rear side pontoons serve only to provide buoyancy; in the ECSD the starboard side pontoon becomes an electrical nerve centre. The dredger’s low voltage system is said to offer easy maintenance with no requirement for special crew training. Meanwhile, the associated reduction in vibrations during dredging ensure a comfortable experience on board.

‘The ECSD is just one example of the products and services that Damen is pioneering as we fix our focus on our goal: to be the most sustainable shipbuilder,’ says Damen sales manager Sjoerd de Bruijn. ‘Our role in this is not just to build electric vessels. As integrator we provide the connection, linking and aligning stakeholders from industry and academia. In this way we build a knowledge network that encourages the wider development of sustainable solutions and ensures the long-term viability of the maritime industry.’

Other electric vessels

Damen’s work on the electrification of the maritime industry falls under the so-called E3 umbrella. That is, environmentally friendly, efficient in operation and economically viable. The shipyards group is currently working on a number of projects for electric vessels.

This includes seven fully-electric Damen Ferries 2306 E3 for the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. These ferries have a completely emission-free propulsion system. Two Road Ferries, 6819 E3 and 9819 E3 being built by the shipyard are to operate in Ontario, Canada. These will be the first fully electric ferries to operate in North America.

The six Island Class Ferries – Road Ferries 8117 E3 – that Damen is building for BC Ferries in British Columbia, Canada, will sail with a hybrid propulsion system that can be easily converted to full-electric in the future when the appropriate infrastructure is in place locally. For the Port of Auckland, New Zealand, Damen is constructing the world’s first fully-electric ship-handling tug with 70 tonnes bollard pull. The RSD Tug 2513 is fully prepared for IMO Tier III compliance.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

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