The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä is to develop two new purely electric ferries kitted out with the company’s drives. The ships will be built for the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö by shipbuilder Holland Shipyards in the Netherlands.
Boreal Sjö aims to put the two electric ferries into commercial operation in autumn 2021. The ships will come in different types: One boat is a 30-metre-long ship for ten cars and about 100 passengers, the other is 50 metres long and will have space for 35 vehicles and 149 passengers including crew. The two ferries will be deployed in Norway on the routes between Launes and Kvellandstrand and between Abelnes and Andabeløy.
According to Wärtsilä, they will tailor the ship design to the two ferries’ operating and route profiles. The Finnish company’s propulsion system includes the motors, batteries, onboard and shore chargers, emergency generators and other electrical components. This equipment is to be delivered to the Netherlands at the beginning of 2021 to have the ships ready for operation by autumn 2021. The manufacturer has not given further details on the ferries’ power and energy storage capacity.
“These battery-powered ferries represent the future in environmental sustainability, and their design is the result of the years of R&D that Wärtsilä has invested in smart marine solutions to lower the carbon footprint of shipping,” says René Zuidam, Manager at Wärtsilä Marine. The fact that Holland Shipyards relies on a single supplier also offers the customer advantages during the operation of the ships, as the same contact person is available for maintenance, spare parts and support.
Just a few months ago, Wärtsilä was also awarded the contract to convert two supply vessels for the Norwegian operator Atlantic Offshore to hybrid propulsion, and the Finnish company is also involved in an initiative to electrify Dutch inland navigation. The first ship with a hybrid drive from Wärtsilä went into operation in July 2019. The escort tugboat from the Swedish port of Luleå was given a drive specially developed for tugs. In August 2019, Wärtsilä also announced its intention to convert the Acta Centaurus to hybrid propulsion before the end of the year. The company first announced its new hybrid retrofit solution for ships in February 2019.
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