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The General Directorate for Waterways and Shipping (GDWS) has ordered a third new multi-purpose ship from Abeking & Rasmussen for the coast guard. The contract took place in connection with the second supplementary budget of the federal government and serves, among other things, to support the maritime industry. The main task is to strengthen maritime security in the North and Baltic Seas.

In December 2019, the GDSW ordered two new multi-purpose ships that are to replace the outdated “Scharhörn” and “Mellum” from 2023. The ship that has now been ordered is to replace the "Neuwerk" by 2025. The federal government is spending 600 million euros on the three ships.

The new multi-purpose ships have space for a crew of 16 plus 34 people - specially trained fire-fighting personnel - who are on board in the event of an accident.

The newbuildings will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will have a large helicopter landing deck in the foredeck area.

All three ships will be given special equipment that will significantly improve operations in the event of an accident. Highly qualified staff and high quality technical equipment mean safety at the highest level.

These include large chemical tanks, an explosion-proof safety and container loading space, as well as oil intake devices, oil collection tanks and a separation room. The new buildings will also receive emergency towing equipment with a bollard pull of 1,450 kN (145 t). The construction work from the first draft to completion and handover of the new ships is carried out by the Federal Institute for Hydraulic Engineering (BAW).

The currently youngest multi-purpose ship of the GDSW is the "Arkona", which went into service in 2005 and is used in the southern Baltic Sea area up to the Polish border.

Gerhard Heiming