Like most superyacht builders, Feadship is looking to design and build yachts in the most eco-friendly way possible. The Dutch company has now received approval in principle for its agnostic fuel system. This flexible system can work with both the fuels of today and those of the future.

Feadship’s 81.75-metre Pure concept in 2021 synthesised the very latest thinking on how owners and their guests enjoy their time on superyachts. It was also conceived from the outset to be fully future-compatible in terms of likely developments over the next decade in propulsion and efficiency.

The progressive thinking that lies at the heart of the Pure concept is now a significant step closer to becoming reality with the approval in principle from Lloyd’s Register for an “agnostic” fuel system. This represents the second stage of Feadship’s roadmap to building a carbon-neutral superyacht by 2030.

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Flexible fuel system

Mandatory Tier III measures such as exhaust gas after-treatment, but also waste heat generation and DC electric systems for propulsion and hotel loads are now all mature technologies and have been installed on numerous superyachts.

‘The crucial next step is that we need a flexible or agnostic fuel system, meaning it has to work with the fuels of today, but also those of tomorrow, as we’re not yet talking of just fuel cells for propulsion purposes,’ says Giedo Loeff, head of R&D at Feadship.

The fully integrated system that will underpin the next generation of Feadship yachts is able to store both non-fossil paraffinic fuels, such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and e-diesel, and alcoholic fuels, for example bio- and e-methanol or ethanol, at full capacity. Production of these alternative fuels is being rapidly scaled up worldwide.

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For new-builds and refits

The flexible system will allow an owner to make maximum use of these fuels as they become increasingly available in the near future. While research is ongoing in collaboration with key partners, Feadship is integrating dual-fuel and single-fuel engines and fuel cell solutions into its new-build projects, as well as for refits and conversions.

These will be assessed using the Yacht Environmental Transparency Index (YETI) tool for insight into overall efficiency, fuel consumption, shore power use and annual emissions.

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Integrating fuel cell technology

The reason this is such a vital step forward is because the fuel storage systems are an integral part of the structure of a vessel. Moreover, to fill a tank with alcoholic fuel as well as diesel requires a different design/layout. The third step in Feadship’s journey towards net-zero carbon is to integrate fuel cell technology expected at the end of this decade.

‘Our announcement is significant because as of now, Feadship plans to build yachts with tanks and systems that are certified for a whole array of non-fossil fuels,’ says Loeff. ‘Besides meeting the growing desire of our clients for carbon neutrality, it will help to minimise the environmental impact of our yachts wherever they may cruise in the world.’

Picture (top): Feadship’s yacht concept Pure (by Feadship).

Feadship roadmap to zero

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