Feadship has received approval-in-principle from Lloyds Registry for an ‘agnostic’ fuel system that the yard hopes to install on board its first carbon-neutral superyacht by 2030.
With many of the mandatory Tier III IMO technologies being rolled out across the existing superyacht fleet, the new fuel system looks ahead to the next phase within Feadship’s “roadmap” towards sustainable yachting. This progressive outlook has consistently driven Feadship’s R&D efforts over the years. In 2021, the yard released a 81 metre superyacht named Pure, which was conceived to be fully compatible with future advancements in propulsion technology.
“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,” said Giedo Loeff, head of R&D at Feadship.
The system envisioned by the Dutch shipyard will allow owners to adopt increasing proportions of alternative fuels as the rate of production for both non-fossil paraffinic and alcoholic fuels continues to be scaled worldwide. While the research behind this technoloy is still ongoing, Feadship is currently making dual- and single-fuel engines available for new-build projects, as well as for refits and conversions in anticipation of the eventual transition.
Incorporating the flexibility needed to allow for future upgrades will be a vital component in ensuring the yard is able to reach its targets, according to Feadship. The new fuel systems will also push the yard to develop new layouts that better incorporate alternative systems.
The next step in Feadship’s journey to reach net zero carbon will be the integration of fuel cell technology, which is forecast to arrive at the end of this decade. Noting the significance of his department’s recent accomplishment, Loeff said that in addition to matching consumer preferences towards carbon neutrality, Feadship’s forward-looking innovations “will help to minimise the environmental impact of our yachts wherever they may cruise in the world.”