Concordia Damen has signed a contract for 40 eco-friendly dual-fuel barges with institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The vessels will have LNG propulsion and extreme shallow draught capabilities – 2800 tonnes on 3.25 metre draught – to maximise cargo carrying capacity on Dutch, Belgian and German canal and river networks.

The barges will be chartered by Shell and operated by the VT Group/Marlow. Frachtcontor Capital Partners was the broker for the deal. Concordia Damen will begin construction of the 110 x 11.5 metres inland tankers in December this year. The delivery of the first vessel will be in November 2021. After that, the yard will deliver another vessel each month, completing the order by December 2024.

The VT Group is specialised in inland shipping, transporting minerals, chemical products, bio-fuels and lubricants. The Parsifal tankers will transport mineral oils between Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Rhine network.

New tanker design

For this innovative new project, Concordia Damen has developed a highly efficient new design, the Parsifal, an inland tanker with extreme shallow draught capabilities, 2800 tonnes on 3.25 metres draught, which is of importance in order to maximise mineral oil cargo carrying capacity on Dutch, Belgian and German inland waterways.

The IWW type C chemical tankers (Loa x B x D = 110.00 x 11.45 x 5.05 metres) will have LNG engines, total 1200 eKW coupled on E-motor driven shaft-lines, twin screw (2 x 500 eKW). The 8 cargo tanks will have a total capacity of 3040 m3. The hulls were subcontracted, 28 hulls were ordered in Kladovo Serbia and 12 hulls were ordered in China. The China built hulls will be transported in batches to Rotterdam.

Outfitting, completion and commissioning will be executed by Concordia Damen, Werkendam. The first vessel is expected to be delivered in November 2021, followed by a vessel each month on average thereafter, completing the order by December 2024.

Martin van Veen, freight trading manager, of Shell explained the choice of Concordia Damen, saying, ‘Concordia Damen has a proven track record in the delivery of products that are highly efficient and sustainable. In addition, they have demonstrated their capabilities in the delivery of shallow draught vessels – which is of importance to this project.’

‘We are very grateful to have received this order and are looking forward to beginning the work,’ says Chris Kornet CEO Concordia Damen. ‘This is yet again a validation of our efforts towards greater levels of sustainability in the inland shipping sector.’