German based Gerdes Green and client of Dutch headquartered Damen Shipyards has received a subsidy from the German Government for the investment in sustainable innovations for a Damen Combi Freighter (CF) 3850 currently under construction, as well as for a second vessel.

The subsidy to Gerdes Green was presented by Minister Volker Wissing at an event held at the Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport in Berlin, Germany.

The given subsidy was one of a number awarded to maritime companies as part of the German Government’s Namkü directive which aims the modernisation of vessels in order to reduce emissions produced by the country’s coastal fleet.

Damen, together with Gerdes Green and the vessels charterer Cargill, has developed a tailored vessel, the CF 3850 Hybrid, with the aim of substantially reducing the environmental footprint.

Gerdes Green will as a result of the subsidy award now invest in a number of options that will serve to further increase the efficiency of its new CF 3850 vessels.

This involves the inclusion of a battery driven propulsion system. With this, the vessels will be able to sail short-term fully electrically with zero emissions, for instance when approaching ports and when passing through populated areas, thereby ensuring clean air.

Damen states that the vessels will also feature wind assisted propulsion in the form of foldable ventofoils from Econowind, be able to sail on B100 biodiesel, significantly reducing CO2 emissions, whilst the vessels will have a 130kW shore connection, eliminating emissions when the vessels are docked.

This hybrid version has been developed in collaboration with Gerdes Green and Cargill.

Gerdes Green is a joint venture between German companies Reederei Gerdes and Over-C, with Reederei Gerdes being active in the coaster segment for 30 years.

Reederei Gerdes has been operating seven CF 3850 vessels from Damen, and has partnered with the European coaster specialist and charter company Over-C to develop a fleet of emissions free, sustainable vessels.

The joint venture’s approach is to develop its coasters together with charterers, customising the vessels to meet the requirements of its clients, with this hybrid version been developed in collaboration with Gerdes Green and Cargill.

“With this funding, we have achieved a significant milestone for our strategy to build a climate-neutral fleet. The ships will make a valuable contribution towards our journey of reducing the environmental impact of supply chains, leading the way for decarbonizing the short sea shipping trade in Europe,” said Nicole Gerdes, Gerdes Green managing partner when she were receiving the subsidy from the German Government.

“In this way, the first two climate-effective ships in our fleet can contribute to climate-efficient supply chains,” said also Dennis Clavier, Gerdes Green managing partner.

“We’re delighted to see Gerdes Green awarded with this subsidy to help further the efficiency of their vessels. This serves as confirmation that the steps we have taken together with Gerdes Green and with Cargill are relevant and will help support the maritime energy transition. We are proud of what we have achieved with the new CF 3850. We have taken a deservedly popular vessel and made it fit for the future, using a range of proven, reliable technologies that generate tangible results,” noted Remko Bouma, commercial director of Damen cargo vessels.