Cargill-Chartered Gerdes Green Short Sea Cargo Ship Gets Green Additions

wind propulsion short sea cargo ship
Wind foils and battery power will be added to the Damen-designed short sea cargo vessel (Damen)

Published Nov 23, 2023 3:05 PM by The Maritime Executive


Two short sea cargo ships being built by Damen for a German partnership called Gered Green and chartered to Cargill will be equipped with green features to improve their environmental performance. The alterations to the already widely used and popular Damen Combi Freighter 3850 are designed to demonstrate the potential of improving environmental performance.

Gerdes Green, which is a partnership between German shipping companies Reederei Gerdes and Over-C, was launched to develop opportunities for short sea environmentally friendly shipping. The group was awarded €1.1 million in October 2023 as part of an initiative by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). The funding provides for adding environmentally friendly equipment to the two ships.

Damen reports that the CF 3850 general cargo ship will be enhanced with the inclusion of a battery-driven propulsion system. The new vessels will be able to operate for short periods fully on electrical power to eliminate emissions. They highlight that this capability can be used when approaching or departing ports or when passing through populated areas.

The CF 3840 is a 3,800 dwt cargo ship measuring 295 feet in length and with a capacity for 5,250 cubic meters of cargo in its hold. The two new ships currently under construction will also be fitted with foldable VentoFoils from Econowind. The wing-shaped devices harness the wind to provide additional propulsion force, lowering the dependence on the engine, fuel consumption, and emissions.

Other changes to the vessels include adapting it to be able to sail on biodiesel fuel. They are also adding a 130kW shore power connection. The vessels will also be outfitted with the Damen Triton remote monitoring platform which provides feedback on the ship’s performance.

Damen highlights that in addition to working with Gerdes to develop designs for this new hybrid version of the vessel, they have been working to enhance the vessel’s performance. Damen has recently redeveloped the design applying the latest tools and using computational fluid dynamics. They reported significantly lowering the vessel’s resistance in the water.

Federal Minister Dr. Volker Wissing highlighted that this award was part of Germany’s fourth funding call. Five companies were awarded a total of €31 million to add new features to a total of 17 vessels. In addition to the two vessels that Gerdes Green will be chartering to Cargill, Fairplay, a tugboat shipping company, received money to be used for six tugs equipped with hydrogen combustion engines. SAL Heavy Lift received monies for four ships with electrical propulsion and two other short sea shipping companies also received support for diesel-electric propulsion systems.

Since launching the funding program in 2021, Germany has given awards to a total of 28 projects. The funding for the green shipping initiatives totals €59 million.