After delivering hybrid ferry Gaarden in July 2020 and nearing completion on a fully electric ferry Düsternbrook, Holland Shipyards Group has won a contract extension from Kiel Tug and Ferry Company (SFK – Schlepp-und Fährgesellschaft Kiel) to build three more hybrid vessels
A statement from Holland Shipyards Group said the design of the three additional vessels will be "in line" with that of the previously delivered ferry Gaarden. The 32-m ferries will feature a hybrid drivetrain that can be powered by generators or with a battery bank.
Holland Shipyards Group said two of the ferries will be delivered in February and May 2022 and the third in early 2026.
“Holland Shipyards successfully prevailed in a European tender competing against 12 other shipyards. The contract included four ferries but was split into a prototype and an option of three additional vessels. Since Gaarden has been in service for several months and fullfilled its duties, Schlepp- und Fährgesellschaft Kiel have extended the contract as originally intended,” said Schlepp- und Fährgesellschaft Kiel operations manager Ansgar Stalder.
The first plug-in hybrid vessel to operate on the German Baltic coastline, Gaarden was delivered to SFK in July 2020, christened on 12 August at the Reventlou bridge and began operating from 13 August on the F1 ferry line between the station bridge in Kiel and Laboe/Schilksee/Strande.
Fully electric ferry Düsternbrook, which is intended for use on the F2 ferry line, has been at the SFK dock in Kiel since late December 2020. According to SFK, due to recent Covid-19 related restrictions, the final testing, handover and commissioning of the ship will likely take several months.
"The construction of the charging infrastructure for the batteries will be completed shortly and when the jetties’ modification and captains’ training is complete, Düsternbrook can be used by up to 140 passengers and 60 bicycles on the F2 line from April or May 2021 at the latest," SFK’s website reported.
In ordering the hybrid and electric vessels, SFK is renewing its existing fleet to meet the company’s own environmental goals as well as those set by the city of Kiel.
As the Holland Shipyards group statement said, "The city of Kiel aims to be CO2-neutral by 2050 and expects shipping to play a major part in this shift. Replacing the fleet adds great value to this and Holland Shipyards Group is proud to contribute to this".