Two new ships at the Doeksen ferry company, which serves the Wadden islands of Terschelling and Vlieland, will be running on natural gas.
The ferry company has signed a long term contract with a natural gas supplier for two new ferries: Willem de Vlamingh and Willem Barentz. Omrop Fryslan reports that the two boats were built in Vietnam and are currently underway to Harlingen, where the finishing touches will be put on the vessels.
The new ferries will run on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). Although natural gas itself is a fossil fuel which still emits carbon dioxide, it emits fewer fine particles and less sulphur and nitrogen dioxide than traditional fuel sources. The company says that the choice for LNG is part of an ongoing effort to become more environmentally friendly, particularly out of consideration to the UNESCO World Heritage status of the Wadden Sea where the ferries operate.
The LNG will be provided by Titan LNG, and the company will make weekly deliveries to refuel the ferries. The two new vessels are expected to enter service later this year and will be replacing the Midsland.
The Doeksen ferry company was founded in 1908 and began operating steamboat passage for travellers between the Dutch mainland and Terschelling and Vlieland in 1923. The company fleet currently includes five ferries: MS Friesland, MS Vlieland, MS Midsland, MS Koegelwieck and MS Tiger.