> OUR CLIENT is also there for nature, in this case best represented by National Park De Biesbosch. ‘We all have a duty of care for the future, no one excluded. We, too, have to treat nature with kindness.’ ZERO EMISSIONS That’s why Riveer is investing in two electric ships, which will sail between Werkendam, Hardinxveld and Gorinchem. These vessels do not emit CO2 and are therefore better for the environment, but there are other upsides. ‘Our customers will be surprised,’ Hania begins. ‘Hardly any noise, no emissions; this will appeal to the customer.’ ‘We are also cutting costs,’ he adds, ‘Fast ships like the current ones are expensive to operate. There are two 375hp engines in the ferries. Those do consume some fuel and lubricating oil. The electric ships have two engines of 171kW and have a battery capacity of 603.2 kW installed on board; less than we have now, but we are doing the same with it.’ These efficiencies were achieved by an extensive collaboration between Riveer and Coco Yachts - the designer of the new ferries- where all design choices were put to the test. For example, a catamaran design was chosen, which has much less resistance in the water. The vessels are particularly long, 35 metres, which again brings down resistance. And the weight has been reduced wherever possible. The aluminium ships, for example, are not painted - minus 400 kilos - and the doors are rainwaterproof instead of fully waterproof - another 20 kilos off. ‘We also calculated how much energy it takes to turn the ferry around on the water; that was a lot,’ says Hania. The ferries now reverse after a stop like a car out of a parking space to move forward again; soon, this will no longer be necessary. ‘We work with propellers that rotate 360 degrees. They are equally strong forwards and backwards, making the manoeuvring easier. Our skippers will simply turn the other way on the bridge.’ STRONG INVOLVEMENT Holland Shipyards Group started building the two ferries in December 2021. Since then the ships have transitioned to the outfitting phase. ‘This involves a lot of communication,’ says Hania, ‘as you always encounter issues during construction. These are often not major changes but practical matters, such as ease of maintenance, hatches that can be moved or installations that need to be mounted slightly differently. We have weekly discussions about these aspects.’ In addition, Holland Shipyards Group also presents proposals that may improve operations of the ferries. ‘First, these ships get haptic feedback handles. The captain feels resistance at the ideal speed. But if the captain does not want to sail at that speed, or in case of emergency, they can decide autonomously and push the handle through the resistance.’ ‘Holland Shipyards Group showed a demonstration model, which seemed right. Dynamic control handles will definitely add value.’ Hania praises Holland Shipyards Group for its input. ‘It is typical of Holland Shipyards Group to look beyond the current market. They always seek out more innovative ways to do things.’ ‘Holland Shipyards Group’s commitment is great. It is a family business, so they attach their name to it,’ Hania continues. ‘The management contributes ideas and is approachable if there are questions. In doing so, they establish a culture replicated by the personnel. They, too, are very close to the clients.’ The ferries will be delivered on the 1st of July. ‘We will take our time to commission them afterwards. That has everything to do with our people getting used to them. After all, safety is paramount.’ Hania hopes Riveer’s new ferries will cause a turnaround. ‘I hope many colleagues will come and take a look and follow our example. We need to start thinking in a different way to meet the challenges of the environment.’ 23 WWW.HOLLANDSHIPYARDSGROUP.COM

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