Damen Wins Class and Flag States Approval for Methanol-fueled Workboats

By October 26, 2023Marine Fuel

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(Photo: Damen)

October 12, 2023

Dutch shipbuilding conglomerate Damen announced it has secured approval from classification society Bureau Veritas as well as the Dutch and Belgian flag authorities for its designs of methanol-powered workboats.

The shipbuilder said it can now offer designs for a wide range of methanol-powered compact vessels, ranging from tugs, stationary dredgers and high-speed vessels to fast crew suppliers, pilot boats, stan patrols and fast ferries, as and when the engines for these types of vessels become available.

The framework lays out the design modifications that are required to ensure that the methanol-powered workboats have standards of safety at least equal to their diesel-fueled equivalents, Damen said. Part of the process involved identifying existing rules that were not applicable to smaller vessels so they could be replaced with alternative solutions, and then identifying and analyzing the risks. The Damen team also had an additional goal: to develop standardized solutions that could be used across the workboat portfolio.

The initial proposals were presented to Bureau Veritas and thereafter changes were implemented in a back-and-forth process. Damen then brought on board the flag states of the Netherlands and Belgium—selected as among the most likely early adopters of sustainable workboats—on the basis that flag states would need to give their own approvals before vessels can be built.

The next stage was the establishment of a Hazard Identification Workshop. Chaired by an independent expert, solutions were presented, alternative designs proposed and additional measures and safeguards identified where required. Obtaining the input of all the key stakeholders at a relatively early stage helped reduce the time required to implement all the changes and so achieve approval in principle in a relatively short time, Damen said.

Pieter Spruijt, Technical Specialist Alternative Fuels and Damen System Owner Methanol Systems, said, “One of the interesting outcomes of the design process is that the methanol storage and fuel systems will take up less space than they would have under the prescriptive rules. Small vessels present a real challenge with space at such a premium, but our designs will not only keep the vessels compact, they will also be more sustainable as they will not require additional inputs when being built.”

Herman Spilker, Bureau Veritas’s Vice President North Europe, said, “Several innovative technical solutions for compact ships were devised and successfully underwent the approval and HAZID process under the oversight of the acknowledged Flag States of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium.”