Innovation and sustainability is in our DNA. These factors have always been important in designing innovative ships. But in the last decade we have dared to go a step further: researching challenging innovations that may not be financially viable yet, but could contribute to solving the climate problem in the future.

Ten years ago we started our R&D projects on wind propulsion, leading to the eConowind unit and VentiFoils for auxiliary wind propulsion. Our first steps with seagoing vessels sailing on LNG however were already taken in 2003, with the development of the LNG tanker ‘Pioneer Knutsen’. Currently we are investigating the possibilities of capturing CO2 from exhaust gases from LNG fuelled vessels and we are developing a zero-emission concept that can sail completely emission-free by combining VentiFoils with batteries and hydrogen.

Which way to go?

We expect various scenarios for the process of turning oceangoing vessels green. Although there will be ‘radical’ (subsidised), zero-emission pilot projects, mainstream oceangoing shipping will adapt much slower. This may look like a ‘smooth adaptation’, but when pilot projects show that a solution has become ‘proven economical technology’ the desired application may lead to a ‘radical transition’. This is also necessary in view of political and public opinion and the IMO’s ambitions. In the near future we expect this for the VentiFoils and wind propulsion, like we now see in LNG. Actually about 178 ships are fuelled by LNG, with another 180 on order. The transition is gaining speed and can become quite ‘radical’, so we see our prediction becoming a reality.

Return to the North

The essence of our vision is to make shipbuilding from Harlingen to Emden of major importance again. That means working together, being prepared to jointly produce central factory and robotized sub-construtions for all the individual yards.

With hundreds of years of experience, knowledge and skills and all transitions in shipbuilding, it is time for the next phase. Return to the North. Building ships together, smart, robotized, cost-efficient, as sustainable as possible and always prepared for every next technical phase of propulsion or fuel system. We are ready for it. The invitation to participate is on the table.