Hybrid ferry to undergo sea trials 'at the end of this year'

Vessel runs on diesel oil or natural gas and includes electric battery plant and 700 square metres of solar panels.

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Updated on 18 Aug 2015 14:22 GMT

Spanish shipyard Contrucciones Navales de Norte S.L. (La Naval) has launched the ferry Texelstroom [pictured], which has been built for the Dutch firm Royal N.V. Texels Eigen Stoomboot Onderneming (TESO).

The vessel will be one of the few ferries to use natural gas as fuel for its electrical generation system which, at the same time, feeds the electrical propulsion motors.

Amongst the guests at the launch ceremony were TESO's managing director, Mr Cees de Waal, and his wife - the newly launched vessel's godmother.

The Texelstroom is to be used for the transport of vehicles and people between the island of Texel, located in the northern part of The Netherlands, and Den Helder, a Dutch mainland port.

La Naval has worked in cooperation with TESO and the engineering company C-Job to develop the vessel's design with a double-ended configuration, two symmetrical engine rooms and navigation bridges.

The ferry is able to transport up to 1,750 passengers and 350 vehicles at a time. It has a length of 135.4 metres and a beam of 27.9 metres.

According to La Naval, the ferry "will have some of the most advanced available technologies, establishing new references in terms of energy consumption and environment care".

The vessel will be able to produce energy from diesel oil or natural gas and will also have an electric battery plant for the supply of the additional required energy during port entrance and departure operations. It will also have more than 700 square metres of solar panels.

La Naval explained that TESO's requirement of a ferry for continuous operation was essential for the design criteria; "that's why the vessel will have redundancy systems on the generation as well on the propulsion and control systems," the Spanish firm said.

The vessel is expected to depart for sea trials at the end of this year with final delivery scheduled for January 2016.