Taking the lead in LNG

Bodewes Group B.V., also operating under the name Royal Bodewes, is a leading, modern shipyard group situated along the Winschoterdiep in Hoogezand, the Netherlands. Comprising of seven divisions that offer shipbuilding, purchasing and management services (among others) Royal Bodewes has a long history in building sea-going vessels starting with traditional shallow draught sailing barges, in Dutch known as ‘tjalks.’

Founded in 1812, Royal Bodewes continuously evolved and improved, ensuring its approach to shipbuilding was modern and that its vessels were meeting the needs of its customers. After well over 180 years of innovation, the company was still expanding, and so at the end of the 1990’s, Bodewes Shipyards started its first co-operation, by building hulls with a Romanian shipyard. Expansion has led to further collaboration with shipyards in the Ukraine and Poland.

In fact, such has been the demand for Royal Bodewes’ services that the company is also establishing an outfitting shop in Germany. The first vessel arrived in May and is due to be completed at the end of August, with its sister vessel arriving shortly thereafter. This new location is especially beneficial as there is an absence of beam restrictions, meaning that ships wider than 16m can be fitted out there.

What unites all of the vessels created by Royal Bodewes is a dedication to stay ahead of the competition and meet the demands of the future. New technologies and innovation will play a vital role in the immediate and long-term future of shipping, and the organisation is committed to design ships in accordance with these principles.

A prime example of this approach is the Bodewes Eco Trader, with its unique bow form, and also one of its latest designs, the EcoCoaster cargo ship. The EcoCoaster is an extremely energy efficient dry cargo carrier, designed to cause considerably less environmental impact than conventional dry cargo vessels. The new vessels will meet all the maritime environmental regulations coming into force in next few years, and in many cases will even exceed them. The hull and machinery of the new buildings are optimised to the speed of 10.5 knots in open water conditions. The power required for Ice Class 1A is achieved by a diesel electric driven booster unit. The aim is to almost halve the fuel consumption compared to conventional dry cargo vessels of similar type and size, and therefore also cut emissions remarkably. The vessels will be equipped with a dual fuel system, with main engine ABC 8DZC being suitable for biofuel and MGO. The delivery of the first EcoCoaster vessel NB 742 is due at the end of August 2016 and the second NB 743 will follow three months later.

These vessels clearly demonstrate not only Royal Bodewes’ ability to identify trends that are important to the shipping market and create solutions, but also its green credentials – improving the environmental side of shipping operations are of vital importance to the business. As a part of this, and working in cooperation with several subcontractors, it is now developing LNG propulsion plants in its designs. LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as a marine fuel offers benefits both in terms of reduced emissions (nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide and particulate matter) and operating costs since LNG prices are very low.

However, even with LNG’s lower price and with an ever-stronger push from emission requirements, there are practical, infrastructure related, and regulatory uncertainties that require consideration. As with any alternative fuel, there is the question about how quickly the infrastructure can adapt to accommodate the new technologies, and also there are only very few LNG systems are available causing the applications of LNG to stagnate. A new LNG system needs to be engineered for each vessel, making the use of LNG as an alternative fuel very expensive.

In addition to this project Royal Bodewes is also constructing Hull NB 803, the Coralius, which was nominated for the Next Generation Ship Award at Nor-Shipping 2015 and will be first LNG carrier to be built in Europe. This 5800 m3 vessel will feature a dual-fuel engine, thrusters that facilitate enhanced close-quarters manoeuvring and ice class notation (1A), which will allow it to trade in the Baltic region during winter. In combination with the hull design of low block coefficient, the emissions will be significantly lower than that of traditional vessels as the ship will run on LNG derived from the cargo. The building of Coralius is part of the EU project Pilot LNG, which aims to establish an LNG bunkering infrastructure. Coralius is scheduled for delivery by the Royal Bodewes shipyard at the beginning of of 2017 and will be owned by Sirius Veder Gas AB, a joint venture between Sirius Rederi and Anthony Veder.

A highly impressive and important vessel, the Coralius represents the qualities that have made Royal Bodewes a successful yard that has supplied hundreds of vessels for various purposes. Innovative, forward thinking and highly advanced, both Coralius and Royal Bodewes are sailing towards a bright future.

Royal Bodewes

  • New location opened in Germany
  • Works in partnership with other yards
  • Nearing completion on two EcoCoaster vessels