The Dutch hybrid CNG-Electric passenger ferry Texelstroom has won the prestigious 2017 Shippax Award. The vessel marks the successful collaboration between owners TESO (Koninklijke N.V. Texels Eigen Stoomboot Onderneming), C-Job Naval Architects and Vripack.

Bristling with numerous examples of environmentally friendly technologies, the 135-metre long vessel, built at Spanish shipyard LaNaval, represents a major step forward in sustainable ferry design.

‘We are very proud to have been presented with this award,” says TESO Project Manager Bert de Jonge. ‘The main requirements with the Texelstroom project were to design a ‘green’ ferry within the existing docking dimensions and yet to be able to carry more cars.’ While C-Job’s design maintains the specified dimensions, it also has increased car carrying capacity in line with expected future tourism levels on the island of Texel.


Sustainable ferry design

Designing a more environmentally friendly ferry involved diverse green technologies and innovations, Mr De Jonge continues. ‘From the CNG propulsion, to the 400 solar panels and the use of ‘peak shaving’ batteries,’ he says. ‘To the LED lighting, water recycling and heat recovery systems, C-Job took on this broad scope to assist us every step of the way. They have addressed every single one of the required design parameters – all in one ship.

And the Shippax award is a recognition of that. It is an example of how to build future ships.’ Vripack is responsible for Texelstroom’s interior and exterior design. The finished vessel shows that, as well as being a “next generation” sustainable ferry, the Texelstroom also has a sharp focus on passenger experience.

'On the one hand, the Texelstroom takes in the needs of the passenger. Their visit to Texel begins when they step on board,' notes Vripack Department Manager Jeroen Droogsma. ‘And on the other hand, the vessel captures the soul of the island of Texel.’ Illustrating this last point is Vripack’s pre-design research that took into account key aspects of the island’s ecosystem.

‘For example, the colour scheme takes inspiration from Texel’s various landscapes such as heather moorland and the contrasting colours of wet and dry sand. This unique approach has led to the completion of a unique vessel.’ ‘The Texelstroom – and the Shippax award – makes an important statement about the future of ferry design. It is a trigger to show the possibilities instead of the impossibilities,’ says Droogsma. With the forthcoming Marine Propulsion Awards taking place on 25 April in Amsterdam, there is a possibility that the Texelstroom will be bestowed another award. ‘The vessel has been nominated for Ship of the Year. This in itself is a great honour,’ says Mr Grijpstra.