A new ‘double-ender’ under construction in northern Spain to serve the Dutch island of Texel will employ several different energy sources, including compressed natural gas (CNG). The vessel reflects the most thorough consideration of intertwined environmental and economic factors writes David Tinsley.
‘Eco-friendly’ has become an overplayed or exaggerated term, used effusively by many shipowners, operators and builders to describe or highlight their new vessels or designs. Intensified commercial pressures and the proliferation of environmental legislation over recent years have, of course, fuelled accelerated technological progression, raising the ‘eco’ bar across-the-board. But fleet investments have always been underpinned by the normal business goal of increased transport efficiency, which automatically results in lessened environmental impact per unit of payload capacity.