May 24, 2022 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

Damen Marine Components (DMC) will supply Flex tunnels, propeller nozzles, manoeuvring systems  and rudders for two innovative inland tanker vessels to Rensen-Driessen Shipbuilding (RDS) of Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands.

The newly developed tankers by RDS are based on the series of four large ‘XXL tankers’ built between 2017 and 2020 at the yard. The new tankers will each be equipped with two Flex tunnels, two propeller nozzles and two manoeuvring systems with four rudders. Propellers of a large 2m diameter have been selected, which provide efficient propulsion under all circumstances. Van der Velden Flex tunnels under the hull ensure optimal water flow to the propellers. The wings that construct the duct under the hull in front of the propellers, can be flipped up towards the hull (see picture) and down to create the tunnel. When the tanker navigates deep water with a full load, the wings can be in the up position, as the propellers will be fully submerged to generate thrust. On shallow water and with limited draught, the wings will be flipped down, so the water will flow under the hull towards the propellers, that will still be fully submerged in the flow towards them. This allows to uphold operations at quite low water levels This concept has proven successful: 13 vessels with Flex tunnels are operational and seven more are under construction.

The new XXL tankers will be equipped with two propellers each with a nozzle. Behind this, two independently operated Van der Velden HD 240 two-rudder systems are installed. Each set of connected rudders has an asymmetrical 60 – 80 degrees rudder angle, that generates optimal thrust in the water. Even at very low speed, excellent manoeuvring capabilities are ensured. 

To be able to take as much liquid as possible in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp sailing area, the vessels measure 135m length and 22m beam, and are categorised XXL. Performance of earlier XXL tankers, providing 13,000 dwt, is very promising. New customers at RDS therefore chose this vessel concept. Like the earlier XXL tankers, the new vessel design is conceived by RDS together with Rommert Ship Design and completed for improved hydrodynamics by DMC. Knowledge gathered in earlier projects was applied. Cooperation of the yard and DMC has been smooth, resulting in state-of-the art vessels.

Wim Driessen of RDS said: “Working with these suppliers has enabled us to optimally develop new ships. Thanks to working with DMC we can further improve our industry network and integration of ship systems, to perfectly serve our clients.”

Area sales manager Leo van Zon added: “We like to thank RDS for the long standing and pleasant cooperation and the openness in this relation. The innovative approach in their shipbuilding projects is a pride to the whole industry.”

The hulls will be built in China to arrive in The Netherlands at the end of 2023 for completion.

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